It’s a well-known fact that more and more entrepreneurs have transferred their businesses to an online platform during the COVID19 outbreak. By offering video conferencing systems that allow virtual interaction between co-workers, clients, and vendors.

Even before the outbreak, studies show that businesses worldwise we’re aiming to integrate multiple types of virtual communication such as video conferencing.

Examples of how a video conference can go wrong

With that being said, it’s extremely important to educate all freelancers the do’ and don’ts of video conferencing. In this article, we will share the top things that you should avoid to keep each conference fruitful.

1. Schedule a meeting beforehand

You have to do it, I have to do it, we all have to do it when it comes to work- meetings online. Let’s just get one thing clear, spontaneity is so irrelevant, but if you suddenly decide to see what’s going on with friends, family or other acquaintances, familiarizing with them in advance is generally the standard. Keep in mind that a video call is not a phone call and there are few cases that justify it. Don’t be those people.

2. Be one time

time capsule

For every video conference that involves more than two participants, it recommended sharing at which time the call is at. This is a basic courtesy so that if you do set a time for a video call make sure that you are on time. If everyone else can find a quiet place in the house without the kids, get organized and try to be fully engaged in the conversation. Don’t be that person who everyone else has to wait for.

3. Position the camera correctly

Don’t allow your cameras positioning to become a distraction for participants. You don’t need to be a famous model to understand how to sit in front of the computer. Stop messing with your appearance/ what you look like, it’s not very interesting or photogenic. If the camera is too close we see your nostrils, if the camera is pointed downwards up you will appear to have a double chine. Try to reach for that golden angle with proper lighting where you don’t look like a ghost nor do you look like dark vaidor, just remember Appearances Matters!

camera positioned correctly

4. Keep the Snacks for later

Ok, this may seem obvious but unless you are video conferencing with a family member and or a significant other, do not sit in front of the camera with food, snacks and alcoholic beverages (I would even exclude gum). Nobody wants to hear you chew through the video chat, it will come off as ridiculous and unprofessional. The same thing for smoking a cigarette, try to avoid creating a cloud of smoke it will only do harm to your reputation. These actions can wait until the end of the conference call, sit down with a cup of coffee or a bottle of water.

5. No to pajamas

Yes, it’s true. You are trapped in the house, at least that’s what all those youtube advertisements are saying during the COVID19 crisis. However, we advise you not to sit in front of the camera in your boxers or underwear. Yes, on camera we can only view the torso area and we get it, no one has the power to get dressed. Unfortunately with today’s technology, the camera pixels are very advanced therefore we can see the crumbs on your pajama shirt. I’m not saying put on a suit and tie but keep it casual.

6. Silence is bliss

lake view with clouds and mountains

If there is one important thing to remember out of all this is that in the middle of the chaos and mayhem video conferences are more of a social challenge than a technological one. Thus, we can all agree that the mute button is your saving grace. Participants do not need to hear the washing machine running, the kids screaming, TV playing in the background, and certainly not your keyboard tricks as you open another window.

7. Limit your movement

This is probably the county’s top-secret, the bitter truth if that nobody enjoys video calls. However, there is a need for small business owners to continue to provide on a social, operational, and professional level but video calls are the Devil’s incarnation. So, if you already have taken part in video conferences, be present and don’t start walking around the house and most definitely not unloading the dryer full of clothes. Instead, go to a quit small space where nobody can disturb you, not even your kids. Just remember you’re not the only one who doesn’t really want video conference, you will just have to suffer like everyone else

8. Speak When Spoken too

Since we have already touched the topic of social challenges, we won’t go into major detail however, it’s important to emphasize that there is a real need here to maintain the conversational courtesy. Which means don’t start conversations with others when some else is speaking. Most definitely do not burst out loud about something you want to get off your chest. Instead, wait until the current speaker is finished, then speak.

9. Connect and reconnect

Like any other technological usage, video calls don’t always go as smoothly as we would like. There are always going to be glitches, pauses, and sudden disconnections. If you encounter such malfunction during an important video conference, don’t start panicking!!! everything is okay, just reconnect quietly. There is no need to announce to the whole group, or starting nervously cursing!

We understand that video conferencing for business purposes can be very difficult. Especially when working from home, there are probably 100 other things that you want to get done. However, these basics holy grail tips will help you stand out and be as professional as possible.