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Video Conferencing Etiquette: 7 Things to Avoid

By: Scott Resnick


Utilizing video conferencing services like those offered by NEC VOip phone systems are a perfect alternative to travel because they’re easy to use and cost effective. In addition, equipment and connection quality has greatly improved over the past few years.

With fiber optic network data cabling, that authentic feeling face-to-face meeting is finally achievable by virtually anyone! But as with any type of meeting, there are certain social behaviors that you want to watch out for, as they could make for a bad impression. Here are the 7 deadly sins of video conferencing.
1. Don’t Make Distracting Sounds
This is especially true for video conference scenarios that bridge many locations together with only one or two speakers and the rest observing. It can be easy to forget that all parties can see and hear you when you’re in a room by yourself. But it’s important to remember that everything from typing on a keyboard to phone alerts or noisy candy wrappers can interrupt the speaker and distract or cause interference for those who are listening.
2. Don’t Shout!
Contrary to popular believe, video conference systems utilize highly sensitive microphones that are designed to capture normal voice volumes. Instead of assuming that you need to speak up in order for everyone to hear you, start the meeting by asking in your normal volume if your audio is being heard OK. If it’s not, adjust the level on the microphone instead of yelling to compensate. You could cause listeners to turn their volumes down and miss what you’re saying.
3. Limit Your Movement
You don’t have to pretend to be statuesque, but keep in mind that the video conference camera is adjusted to frame where you are sitting. Excessive movement could put you partially or fully off-screen. Hand gestures and jerking movements should also be kept to a minimum as they might distract other participants.
4. Don’t Interrupt
Conversation cadence can be challenging to pick up on via video conference, especially when you’re dealing with a multi-point connection. But it’s important to wait until the speaker has finished before chiming in. Failure to do so can come off as rude and unprofessional.
5. Don’t Forget the Camera
Remember, video conferencing is no different than speaking in person with someone. It can be easy to direct your attention elsewhere, especially as a nervous habit while public presenting but remember to look into the camera when addressing other participants. No one wants to sit through a meeting where the only view is that of the top of your head while you type or read from notes.  
6. Avoid Side Conversations
Just like in personal settings, having a side conversation while others are trying to relay a message or listen is just plain bad etiquette. This type of behavior is unprofessional in the workplace and carries the same caliber of rudeness for video meetings as it does in-person meetings. It can be distracting to both the speaker and the audience and reflects poorly on those involved in the side chatter.
7. Don’t Forget Dress Code
The rule of thumb for video conferencing is that you should dress exactly how you would dress for a meeting that you’re attending in person. Video conferences are used so that all participants can be seen and heard. The only lacking element is a physical presence. So make sure you dress accordingly!
Look like a pro while you conduct or attend meetings by remembering that advanced technologies like fiber optic network data cabling and NEC VoIP phone systems were designed to provide you with a superior video and audio connection. By being conscientious about distracting noises, voice volume, movement and dress code, you’ll clearly come off looking and sounding like a modern-day professional via video conference.
This article was originally published by TTI Houston
Published: October 17, 2013

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Scott Resnick

Scott Resnick is the President and Owner of Today's Telecommunications Industries, LLC (TTI) in Houston, TX. For the past 39 years, Scott has been instrumental in serving the telecommunications needs of some of Houston's largest and most influential companies. TTI is one of the largest NEC dealers in the United States. Scott is an avid baseball fan, loving father, husband, and a world traveler.

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