Video chat etiquette: how to be (excellent) to each other

| January 17, 2017

Group video chat brings people together from all over the world—not physically, of course, but it’s currently the closest thing we have to a teleporter. But because we’re relying on machines and computers to conduct remote meetings, there are naturally going to be some kinks that need working out. Here are tips to cut any frustrations and make your video meetings successful.

Press R to “raise your hand”

When there are a lot of people in a video chat or there’s one person holding the floor, and you have questions or comments, it can be hard to find a good time to jump in and say what you need to say. Nobody wants to be “that person” who constantly interrupts or steamrolls the rest of the conversation…which can lead to being overly cautious and not saying anything at video chat raise your handThat’s why we’ve included the “raise your hand” function. Just press the R key or select the Raise/Lower Hand button in the top menu, and an icon will appear in your video thumbnail indicating that you’d like to speak. Press the R key or the button again to “lower your hand” again.

Now you can be sure that everyone can have their say.

Be mindful of your screen sharing habits

Screen sharing is great for presentations and walking through a process, but it can be hard to follow what you’re supposed to be looking at just from listening to the person on the other end. If you’re pointing to something on the screen, point with your mouse so the other people in the video chat know where to look.

Also, remember to stop sharing your screen when you’re done presenting. It cuts down on confusion regarding where everyone’s attention should be, and besides, your teammates want to see your face!

Cut down on ambient noise

Nothing is more distracting in a video chat than, say, construction going on outside a teammate’s window, or the hustle and bustle of the office as a constant backdrop.

One way to cut down on the ambient noise is to use headphones, particularly headphones with a microphone attached to the cable. If you’re using a setup like this, be careful about touching it, as that creates a loud noise.

You can also mute your audio, and push the space bar on your keyboard when you have something to say. It’ll turn audio back on for as long as you’re holding down the space bar, and turn it off again when you release it.

If your wifi connection is bad, close the video and just use the audio function. The audio quality will improve, and no one will be tempted to throw things at the monitor.

Take notes, share notes

Life happens, and sometimes not everyone who’s supposed to be in a meeting can make it. Look out for your waylaid teammates by taking notes, summarizing the points and decisions that were made in your team’s room(s) so nobody is left out of the loop.

group video chat meeting

A little bit of consideration can go a long way toward making your meetings—and your team—a success. Try them out during your next group video chat and see for yourself!