If you are considering holding more teleconferences or you have recently transitioned your organization to more remote work that requires video conference meetings, you should be aware of teleconference best practices. Having your team members follow a consistent teleconference meeting protocol ensures each meeting goes smoothly, saving time and money.
Each company has its own policies and practices concerning teleconferencing, but the following list includes some of the most common best practices for teleconferencing etiquette.
Check Your Hardware and Internet Connection
Take the time to check your equipment before you or your employees join a teleconference. When one person has technical difficulties, it interrupts the entire meeting and pulls things off track. Ensure you have enough internet speed to support a strong connection. Testing your equipment ahead of time gives you the chance to identify and fix any problems before they interfere with a meeting.
Create a Quiet Space without Distractions
Remote work comes with challenges, especially if partners, kids, and pets are at home. Teleconference attendees need to find a quiet space for meetings where they can avoid distractions. Distraction interrupts the user and makes it difficult for them to keep abreast of what is going on during the call. Similarly, they also distract others and impact the flow of the meeting.
Be Prepared and On-Time
Ensure that you and your team members write down notes and questions ahead of time for the call. Rifling through papers and files during a teleconference is noisy and disruptive, so being prepared is imperative. This also includes joining a teleconference on time. In case you have difficulties joining the meeting, you should plan to join at least five minutes ahead of time.
Mute Your Mic When You Aren't Talking
Background noise can be distracting and is one drawback of teleconferencing. Whether you are on an audio or video teleconference, you can eliminate this issue by muting your mic whenever you aren't speaking. This allows everyone on the call to hear more clearly the person who is speaking. You should also avoid eating for the same reason. Others do not want to watch people eat online, nor do they want to hear it.
Don't Speak Over Others
Meetings, business transactions, and other online events can be passionate and full of emotions that range from anger to excitement. Like in a face-to-face meeting, it's proper etiquette not to speak over others during a teleconference. Take notes about comments and feedback that you have and politely wait your turn to interject. This way everyone has a voice during the meeting.
Dress for Your Audience
If you are in a video conference call, you should dress for your audience. You might be tempted to wear your workout gear, pajamas, or other lounging house clothes. Yet, you must dress professionally. Set the expectations for your team. For some meetings, business casual attire might be acceptable, and other teleconference events might require full business attire.
Don't Sneak Out of the Meeting
Best practices for teleconferences require being present throughout the entire meeting. Unless it is an absolute emergency—bathroom or otherwise—remain in front of the camera and engaged in the meeting. Even if stepping away does not interrupt the meeting or conference, it could lead to awkward situations when an attendee does not hear something discussed.
Following the above best practices while teleconferencing will help your meetings go more smoothly, increase productivity, and save you time and money. Whether you are teleconferencing with your team, colleagues, or clients, you want to present yourself professionally. Engaging in proper teleconferencing etiquette exudes professionalism and competence.