Meeting with people on the Internet has a specific set of blessings and challenges, just like other ways of meeting. And like other others meetings, how you act and treat others will depend on the context. Are you goofing around with your friend or interviewing for a job? Are you hosting the meeting or attending it?
Here are eight guidelines for video conference meetings that lean toward the formal where you are the attendee. Use wisdom to adjust to your particular video conference.
Remember that we connect and communicate a lot with our eyes. Your attention shows care. To give this kind of attention, look into the camera. This works best if you put the camera at eye-level. This is not always easy, so be patient with others.
As with in-person meetings, guard against distraction. For example, be careful about using technology for any purpose other than engaging in your meeting.
Web conferences lean toward informality. Watch out for this if you’re attending a more formal meeting. For example, avoid playing with backgrounds or experimenting with other features during the meeting. Give thought to what you wear and what is within audio/visual range.
In general, keep your audio muted when you’re not speaking.
Be courteous during techno-lags in the conversation. People may look funny if the video freezes, just wait for the video to resume. Moving a little slower in a meeting and checking in often a benefit to everyone.
Do not use the private chat feature unless the host has encouraged it.
Connect a little early and be prepared to start on time.
If you are new to video conferencing, read these tips for better video conference calls. If you are new to a particular platform, download the software needed (desktop is better than mobile) and test it out to get familiar with the features. You could practice with a friend, or try out a real Webex meeting or Zoom meeting online. Practice is your best friend. This will give you time to find and fix problems before the meeting and fully participate once the meeting begins.
Bonus: Skills Checklist for Attendees
- Do I know how to mute and un-mute myself?
- Do I know how to start and stop my video?
- Do I know how to share and stop sharing content?
- Do I know how to switch between the different viewing options?
- Do I know how to raise my hand (virtually)?