Video conferencing has been one of the most utilized means of communication in businesses. The best thing about it is its ability to allow people to connect and interact easily and conveniently anytime, anywhere. Whether it's a conference call done in the privacy of your office or one that is simply set at home, make sure you stay professional by avoiding these video conferencing taboos:
Being late. First thing's first. If you want to be known as someone who is professional, be always on time. Time is gold especially for virtual meetings. There's a reason why you're doing the discussion through your computers, and that's probably because you're living in different time zones and that's the only convenient and logical time for both parties to meet. Being punctual speaks of your seriousness towards the matter at hand and your respect to those who are involved.
Shouting. Whether it's over the phone or a video call, there's nothing more annoying than a loud person on the other end. You don't need to shout, just talk calmly and act normal during video conferences. When it seems like the connection is getting bad, compose yourself and never raise your voice just to be heard. Just inform the other person about the situation and wait for it to be stable again. If it's still doesn't work, try ending the call and calling back again. Just remember, shouting can denote so many things about you, including the way you handle unexpected situations.
Noisy background. Definitely the next most irritating after shouting. Noises like the sound of the traffic, your colleagues' chit chats, and even background music are unnecessary elements that should never get in the way of a meaningful video conference. Choose a spot where you can clearly hear the person or persons on the other line. Isolate yourself if you have to.
Distracting body language. Body language tells so much about your interest in the conversation or your lack thereof. Make sure you are exuding positivity through the movements of your body. But very importantly, make sure you don't do it excessively. Yes, it's nice be enthusiastic and engaged, however, too much hand, head, and body movement can be a little too distracting. Remember, lag in the connection can be unavoidable, so you would not want to create extra annoyance by constantly moving too much and looking really awkward when lag happens. Lean forward to show interest, don't slouch, and always be wary of your facial expressions as well. Talking through video is just as good as talking in person, and thus require the same etiquette.
Inappropriate attire. Just like any meetings, video conferencing requires you to look decent and dressed for the occasion. Basic techniques in dressing up to appear good in a video include wearing pastel and light colors and avoiding prints and patterns. For ladies, avoid low neckline and wearing too many accessories or too much make-up. Look clean and tidy enough with fixed hair and unwrinkled shirt. You would want people to listen to you, not criticize how slouchy you look.
Clutter in the background. There's practically no point of looking perfectly presentable during the video call if what's seen behind you is a total mess. Make sure that your backdrop isn’t distracting to the eyes. If you are in an office setting, avoid announcement boards or anything with texts as a background, or a view of the rest of the office where people are walking around. If you are taking the call from home, don't let a messy pile of clothes or books be an attention grabber. A view of the garden or the simple bookshelf in the study room are good enough to make you look organized and still professional even when you're video conferencing outside the office.