Etiquette For Online Meetings

You may think this is not marketing, but it absolutely is part of your marketing, your branding and your reputation. Everything you do or say in a business situation reflects on your company. A video meeting is a business meeting!

We all know how to behave and be professional in meetings, but with people working from home and attending video meetings everything is different. Do you know how to behave or what is expected of you in this situation?

Here are 5 things you need to know:

1. Look Good. Yes, you are working from home so you don’t need to wear a suit, but you should at least wear business casual (at least your shirt). No one will see what you have on from the waist down (unless you stand up!), but they will see you from the waist up. Dress appropriately. Comb your hair and put on your makeup (if you usually wear makeup). Try to look like you would normally look in a business situation.

2. Your background. Before you start the video, look behind you to see what the person on the other side of the camera will see. You may be working from home or at your dining room table, but try to make what they can see presentable. Make sure there are no stacks of mess behind you (just move them for the meeting – you can put them back after it is over!) Make sure there is nothing offensive showing, check the lighting. We are all in the same position with working from home, but try to keep the kids out of the room and the dog quiet when you are on a video call. If your child runs across the room or the dog starts barking, there is nothing you can do about it. If it happens…it happens, people understand, they are in the same position, but try to control it if you can.

3. Camera or no camera. That is the question! The general rule is, if the other person or people have their camera on, yours should be on too. If it isn’t, instead of listening to you people may be thinking there is something you are hiding- they don’t pay as close of attention when they can’t see who they are talking or listening to. Make sure you look directly into the camera lens, it is like looking them in the eye. It shows you are paying attention to what they are saying and that you care.

4. Schedule. If you are hosting the meeting, have a schedule and keep to the timeframe. Remember always be respectful of other people’s time, but especially in times like this when people are trying to juggle so many things at once. If you are not the host, try not to go off the topic – it can make the meeting run long which may interfere with other meetings scheduled. You can’t “sneak out” of a video meeting that is running long when you have another meeting scheduled!

5. Mic and Camera. This is the most important rule to follow! Remember that the mic and camera are on. Be very careful of what you say and do! If you need to say or do something that you don’t want everyone else to hear or see, turn off your mic and camera – then remember to turn it back on for the remainder of the meeting. When the meeting is over – remember to TURN OFF THE CAMERA.

To recap, If you wouldn’t do it or wear it in a face to face meeting, you shouldn’t do it or wear it in an online meeting!