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The Rules of Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is rife with potential manners pitfalls - distraction, snacking, bad hair. Don't make these mistakes! Follow Modern Manners Guy's tips on the rules of polite video conferencing.

By
Richie Frieman
April 13, 2014
Episode #291

Page 2 of 2

Similar to Tip #1, when you do anything that isn’t directly related to the call, it shows that you don’t respect the other people on the line. And while you can sometimes get away with checking your email while on a phone call, bringing food to the video meeting is something you can’t hide.  No one wants to hear you talk with your mouth full, let alone see you talk with your mouth full. Gross! It’s not like you’re dining together for a lunch meeting either, where pausing to take a bite or wipe your mouth is expected and permitted.

As well, when someone is eating on camera it is distracting to the other people on the call. I don’t care how focused you are, when someone is chowing down on a turkey club during a video call you can’t help but have your concentration challenged. Bottom line, it’s distracting and rude for everyone on the line. Period. You can wait until the end of the call to chow down on your afternoon snack.

Tip #3: Look the Part

I remember seeing an interview with a local news anchor in which he admitted to always wearing shorts on air during the summer, since he’s never shown from the waist down. From the belt up, he always looked impeccable, in a suit and tie. I thought that was brilliant! After all, why not be comfortable if you can get away with it?

The same goes for video conference calls. When people are watching you, you have to look professional. No one wants to log onto a video chat and see a disheveled mess on the other end. It shows a lack of attention to one’s self and a lack of respect for the other callers. An unkempt person is not a prepared person.

Here’s the deal, folks: Always, always, always look the part on a video conference call. Do you have to wear a whole suit if you’re not going to be shown in full? No, not at all. But you do have to give the impression that you are totally prepared for your business meeting. Don’t let the ease and casualness of a video call distract you. People are watching and judging, so come to the call looking sharp and they will take you for the serious professional that you are.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.

Do you have any recent graduates in your circle, or perhaps someone who is looking to start a new career, check out my book, Reply All…And Other Ways to Tank Your Career for great tips and advice on job success. It's available now!

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