Basic business etiquette during video conferencing is challenging for some people. In reality, this shouldn’t be any different from how you’d act during a face-to-face meeting though. Unfortunately, a lot of people forget how to act because they think they’re in a room alone. There are definitely a few things you need to remember though.
Phone vs. Conference Phone Business Etiquette
To begin with, you must understand that conference call etiquette really is quite different from “regular phone” etiquette. This is something that becomes increasingly more important to remember with the growing number of people who are actually in attendance on the call. It’s also more important when you’re attending an international call. This is because there are cultural and language barriers that you must also consider here.
Since the last thing you want to do is make a business faux pas, it’s important that you’re well-informed about conference call etiquette. This isn’t something that schools are teaching today – not even business schools. However, this doesn’t mean that you haven’t learned about the golden rule as far back as in kindergarten. According to this rule, you want to treat others how you’d like to be treated. This should be the ground rule for all phone call etiquette too, regardless of whether you’re on a traditional phone call or on a conference call.
Entering the call Properly
With the golden rule in mind, you’re ready to enter the conference call. Today there are conference call options like Uberconference. It honestly doesn’t matter what option you use, simply can’t stress enough how important it is for you to arrive promptly.
You’d think that this would be easy for people to do. However, many people don’t realize that it takes a little work to enter a call. While you don’t want to do this so early that you’re left sitting there for a long time, you also don’t want to do it so late that you distract people by setting off the noise indicating your entrance. One of the best ways of dealing with this is by using an app like Hip Dial. Once you dial into the call it’ll let you know when the call is about to start so you’re not tied to your desk waiting for it to do so.
Upon entering the call, make sure you announce yourself. Never assume that people know you’ve arrived. Instead, simply say, “Hi this is [Your Name].” Although you’d think this is something basic people would simply do, it’s often overlooked. This is especially true if a person doesn’t want to speak up or speak out during the call.
Throughout the Call
Now that you’re on the call you should be ready to give it your undivided attention. In other words, you want to treat the call like you’d treat any other face-to-face meeting. You don’t want to multitask during this meeting. Instead, you should:
• Prepare for the meeting ahead of time. This allows you to look polished, respectful and genuinely interested in the call. These are things that your managers and investors will notice. Since this only takes a small amount of effort on your part, you’ll want to make sure you benefit here.
• Even if the call is recorded, you should still take notes about things that’ll help you do your job better. When calls aren’t recorded and you want to record it yourself, make sure you get permission beforehand. You need to respect when someone tells you “no” here. Some people have very good reasons why they don’t want you to record their voice.
• As the call occurs, make sure you create a list of input statements and questions ready for at the end of the call. This is especially important if you know you’re going to be called upon for your input at any point in the call. You don’t want to be stumbling around while everyone waits for you to speak.
• Never eat or drink anything during a conference call. This is not the best time to take your lunch break. You don’t want everyone knowing what you’re eating. It’s just rude. Furthermore, these calls are usually really short so you should have plenty of time to get a drink beforehand or schedule your lunch afterward.
• You should always do your best to take a conference call from a quiet place. However, when this isn’t possible It’s important to understand that the mute button exists for a reason. Although you may not mind all the background noise around you, other people who are attending the conference call with you may not want to be forced to listen to these things. Even the quietest office still has a lot of background noise that you probably can’t hear but that other people to hear even though they don’t want to. Put your phone on mute but don’t use this feature as a way to sneak a snack or drink. Instead, act like your line is never muted so that you can avoid any embarrassing incidents.
• Make sure that you don’t speak over anyone. Take turns speaking like you would if you were face-to-face with someone. Everyone has something to say and should have the opportunity to do so.
• Remember, you don’t want to sneak out of these web meetings early either. This may offend the host and discourage others who are in attendance from staying to the end themselves. Instead, you’ll want to stick around and say “goodbye” with a smile on your face. Doing so will go a long way in helping you look professional.
All of these “good” behaviors really do go back to the golden rule. Acting in accordance with this rule will allow you to make a good impression on those in attendance with you. This is just as important as if you were in any other type of face-to-face meeting. Hopefully, these tips will help you leave this good impression when you attend your next conference call.
Elianna Hyde has been a freelance writer since 2009. She attended university of California and graduated with masters in mass communication. She loves to write about small business development and emerging technologies that helps businesses to grow.