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5 Video Meeting Etiquette Tips


Virtual meetings and conferences have become the norm thanks to Covid-19, being available and camera-ready for those video-conferencing calls has become essential for previously office-based employees.

In fact, video-conferencing platform Zoom reported record sales in the second quarter of 2020, of $663.5-million. This is more than the company’s total sales for all of 2019.

If you’re one of the millions of new users of video conferencing platforms, here are a few tips for running a smooth virtual meeting.

1. Plan your meetings considerately

With the elimination of the commute, it’s not uncommon to have back-to-back virtual meetings. But, jumping from one meeting into another without a break means you’re likely to struggle to segue quickly from one topic to another or even cause you to disengage. At Flexability we call it the ZIZO syndrome (Zooming In, Zoning Out). Here are our strategies for avoiding ZIZO.

Here are some of our top tips:

  • Ensure that only people who need to be in a meeting are invited to it
  • Share an agenda and stick to it
  • Start and end on time
  • Allow for bio breaks

2. ‘Can you guys hear me?’

“You’re on mute” will go down as the catchphrase of 2020, and there’s a reason: audio slip-ups on video-conferencing platforms are ubiquitous. But there are few ways you can avoid them:

  • Familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcut to turn your microphone off and on (on Google Meets it’s Ctrl (or Cmd)+D; on Zoom it’s Ctrl (Cmd)+Shift+A – or hold down your space bar)
  • If you’re using a headset, test the speaker and microphone before you jump into your meeting. It will take five minutes of preparation and will save you a lot of flustered mouse clicks during your meeting
  • If you’ve got external speakers or an external microphone, these audio checks are essential because if your speaker and microphone are too close together, you’re in danger of creating a feedback wail

3. Freezing

Yes, you’ve got a high-speed internet connection, so why is this meeting glitchy? Video calls are very data-heavy (a video call can consume 2.5GB of data per hour) and the more people there are on a call simultaneously with their video on, the more strain you put on your bandwidth and your computer processor.

If you’re expecting to run a large meeting featuring many people with their videos on, make sure you’ve closed down any other applications on your computer that might be running in the background, and make sure your children aren’t streaming something in super HD as you try to sign on.

4. Lights, camera … join meeting!

There’s no reason to create an expensive set complete with lighting and make-up for your Zoom meeting, but remember that anything distracting in the background can detract from the message you’re trying to get across. Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t sit with your back to a light source – you’ll appear as a silhouette
  • Ensure that your laptop is at about the same height as your face so you’re not looking up or down
  • Ensure your background is clean and clutter-free

Pro tip: head over to and start an empty meeting so you can take a look at your space before hopping on to your work meeting.

5. The screen overshare

You hit “share screen” and suddenly everyone in the meeting gets a fleeting glimpse of your overflowing inbox, your emoji-laden private messages, and your wallpaper image of your pet goat.

Screen sharing can be nerve-racking if you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing. That’s why it’s critical that you practice doing this before your meeting. Different platforms can have slightly different screen-sharing options, which is why this is even more important.

If you can, use two screens, one with your presentation on it, and the other with the meeting on it. That way you can still see the faces of the people you’re presenting to (if they have their cameras on).

Pro tip: look at the camera (focus on the green light that lets you know your camera is on) when you’re presenting during a virtual meeting, not at the faces on the screen or at your own image. This simulates eye contact.