Video Etiquette Part 1

Simple Etiquette Tips for Better Video Conferencing
Part 1: Before You Start

More and more, video is an integral part of our work lives.

But compared to ubiquitous social technologies like cell phones, e-mail, and text messaging, video conferences today lack universally-accepted rules of engagement. There are no cross-cultural standards such as saying “Hello?” when you pick up the phone or replying “LOL” when you find something humorous.

Most standards have been inherited from the audio conferencing world, where muting, not interrupting, and paying attention to the speaker are accepted courtesies. But as real-time and on-demand visual communication increases, standards for video etiquette are developing. In addition, being on video can feel uncomfortable for newbies, so a little guidance can provide some comfort.

Here are a few key fundamentals to follow today that will make video conferences positive experiences for you and your colleagues.

Prior to the call, check to see how you will appear to those on the far end. The key?


 Make sure you have light in front of you, not behind you, so you can truly be seen.

Attire actually matters–take your cues from television professionals who are on camera all the time. Not a lot of pinstripes, complicated patterns, or checkered designs. You want the technology focused on transmitting your words, expressions, and ideas, not choking on how to encode and decode your paisley print.


Check the Picture-in-Picture to ensure that you’re visible in the frame, with the right portrait. You don’t want the far side focused only on your forehead or up your nose.

Coming Up: 

Part 1: Before Your Start | Part 2: Test It First | Part 3: In the Call | Part 4: Common Challenges | Part 5: Working from Usual and Unusual Locations