These Things Make You Rude In The Eyes Of Your Video Call Participants

Video calls, whether for work or personal conversations, have become a major part of our daily lives throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. This made video conference call etiquette in the workplace one of the most necessary soft skills.

What I mean is everyone knows how to do video calls. You simply launch an app, press on the call icon and boom, your Zoom conference video is up. Alas, running a call is not as easy, as you will be presenting your ideas in front of an expecting audience. Bore them once, and the call becomes meaningless.

Video Call Etiquette

The concept of video call etiquette has been introduced long before the age of Zoom and Hangouts. We’ve had it since ICQ and Skype were a thing. That being said, the rules did not change over the past decade or so, meaning they are as efficient as ever nowadays.

  1. Rule #1: Few things are as frustrating as the good old “can you hear me?” line. Why waste precious time making last moment tweaks and adjustments when other people are already in the call looking to hear what you have to say? Always check your connection, mic, and camera, before calling someone or joining a call. 
  2. Rule #2: We’ve all watched streamers and YouTubers at some point in our life. One of the things we like about this type of content is the background. Imagine your favorite blogger chatting to you from a dark room or an echoing basement—would you keep watching the video? Don’t force your conference call attendees to go through the same troubles - pick a quiet, well-lit room with minimal distractions. 
  3. Rule #3: Working from home has its benefits. For once, you get to choose what to wear. That being said, an online meeting is a part of the work, so please make sure to dress accordingly. 
  4. Rule #4: If you are not speaking to age-old friends, please make an effort of introducing yourself before speaking for the first time. 
  5. Rule #5: Don’t distract others with coughing, mic fuss, or any other noises, especially if someone else is speaking. Mute your mic unless you need others to hear you. 
  6. Rule #7: Don’t just go live. People have their own thing and would appreciate a heads up before a call. I suggest making a meeting in their calendar and then notifying them additionally via text chat. This way you will not be catching anybody off guard. 
  7. Rule #8: Now that we’ve established you need to warn others, please make sure you yourself are not late for said meetings. 
  8. Rule #9: People can see your head most of the time, but your body stays off the screen. Keep that in mind and please rely on words rather than body language when pointing something out. 
  9. Rule #10: Explain what you are doing even if you are sharing a screen, as not everyone can keep up to your cursor. 
  10. Rule #11: Be polite to others. Don’t interrupt them. Here’s a general rule of thumb for you—if something seems too rude to do in a physical conversation, don’t do it in your free video conference app.

Did we miss anything?

These are the 10 golden rules of video call etiquette that have been out there for decades. Following them will make you a better speaker and attendee. That being said, do these rules need updates in 2020? Please, share your thoughts in the comments below.