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3 reasons t keep your video on3 Reasons to Keep Your Video On

We live in a virtual meeting world. And, thankfully, modern technology allows us to hold meetings—both internally and externally—via Zoom, Webex, Teams, and other virtual communication platforms. It’s easy to just “join” the meeting and then turn the video off. However, there are at least 3 valid reasons to keep your video on.

  1. Helps you to be “present” – Virtual meetings are all about “seeing” each other. (Otherwise, you would just do a conference call!) You want to be “present.” That means you turn your video on. If your video is off, it’s like you “checked the box” that you attended, but you really weren’t present.
  2. Builds better rapport and connection – If you are sitting around a conference table for a meeting, you observe peoples’ body language. You make that all-important eye contact. Keeping your video on helps you to communicate effectively on screen by being able to observe body language and also making that all-important eye contact when you look into your webcam. And keeping your video on is not so much so the presenter can see you (although presenters do like to see their participants!), but it’s so you can see each other and feel like a connected community of participants.
  3. Shows you’re engaged in the meeting. When your video is off, other participants only see your name or profile picture (if you uploaded one). This suggests you’re uninterested, bored, and likely are multi-tasking and working on unrelated work. When you hide behind your screen, it also can appear disrespectful. But, when your video is on, it conveys you are engaged, interested, and a team player. And, it adds points to your professionalism. Remember, perception is reality, whether we like it or not.

Incidentally, there are several instances in which you may briefly turn your video off. If it’s a long meeting, you might need a “biology” break. If you work from home, turn the video off briefly if someone in your household urgently needs your attention. In these cases, it’s good etiquette to write in Chat, “I’ll be back in a moment.” Then, turn your video off until you return.

In brief, these “3 reasons to keep your video on” influence the impression others have of you. With your video on, others notice that you are “present,” engaged, and willing to connect and build rapport.

In the comments below, please share other reasons to keep your video on.

Photo sources: iStock and Rachel Wagner. All rights reserved.

Rachel Wagner is a licensed business etiquette consultant, trainer, and speaker. She is the owner of the Oklahoma-based business etiquette firm Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol. www.EtiquetteTrainer.com. Rachel provides onsite and LIVE virtual training presentations on a variety of business and dining etiquette topics for corporate clients around the country. As an etiquette expert, she is interviewed and quoted in a variety of local and national media outlets. These include The Washington Post, MONEY, Forbes, and many more. She is also newly credentialed as a VEP, a Virtual Event Professional, and Zoom Producer.