If you enjoyed this, please share:

In the business world, etiquette for virtual meetings matters. It’s just as important as the etiquette you show at a face-to-face meeting in the company conference room.virtual meeting etiquette

But, no one has thought too much about etiquette for virtual meetings until recently. In this unprecedented time (Coronavirus world), companies around the globe now use—more than ever—virtual communication platforms. These include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and others to hold “meetings” both internally and externally.

In real-time meetings, people notice how you look, speak, and carry yourself. And, guess what? The same is true in virtual meetings! Other participants notice how you look, speak, and carry yourself.

In other words, professionalism is key to presenting your brand and image on a screen just as it is in face-to-face meetings. And, if you’ve attended many virtual meetings in the past few months, you’ve likely observed annoyances and blunders that others make on-screen.

So, here are 8 etiquette tips for virtual meetings that will enhance your professional image and presence.

  1. Do – Place the camera where your face is in the center. No matter what device you use—webcam on a desktop monitor, mobile phone, or laptop—sit or stand so the camera angle allows people to see YOU in the middle of the screen—from the torso up—rather than part of your head along with your ceiling fan! Also, check the camera angle that it’s not looking up your nose!

  2. Do – Turn your video to “on” rather than just your name or a profile picture showing in the gallery view of participants. The whole point of virtual meetings is to connect and build better rapport by seeing each other’s faces.

  3. Do – Have good lighting on your face so there’s no shadow. This is easily accomplished by having natural light from windows or lamps in front of you and on both sides of you. No natural light or movable lamps? Then,  consider investing in an inexpensive ring light that can be placed where needed to increase the light in front of you.

  4. Do – Dress professionally—at least from the waist up! And wear a color that shows well on screen. First, reach for something in your closet that’s “business casual” to present yourself professionally. Colors that show well on screen include any shade of blue—from navy to pastel—as well as deep purple and most pastels like lavender, pink and blue. These colors are not overpowering and go well with most people’s hair and skin tone. Avoid wearing solid colors such as black, white, red and green or bold prints; these colors and patterns are not as visually appealing.

  5. Don’t – “Arrive late” at the meeting. “Join” the meeting a few minutes early to make adjustments to your audio and camera angle.

  6. Do – Learn where the mute button is. Generally, the meeting “host” unmutes all participants at the beginning and then mutes everyone when the meeting begins to minimize distractions. If the meeting host keeps everyone unmuted during the meeting, it’s a good idea to mute yourself to eliminate other participants from hearing distracting background noise. Then, when you want to speak, just unmute yourself.

  7. Don’t – Monopolize the conversation. Just as in a face-to-face meeting, it’s courteous to let everyone have equal airtime.

  8. And lastly…Do – Stick to only one or two drinks if participating in a virtual “Happy Hour” meeting! Then, switch to something non-alcoholic. You have to remember that it’s still a work event.

In summary, virtual impressions matter. And to give a good virtual impression, using good business etiquette for virtual meetings shows respect for others and enhances your own professionalism.

You may also like to hear Rachel’s podcast from Talk Radio 1170 on Business Etiquette After Covid-19 or read her article in the Tulsa World on Business Etiquette Post-Pandemic.

Rachel Wagner is a licensed business etiquette consultant, trainer and speaker, and owner of the Oklahoma-based business etiquette firm Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol. www.EtiquetteTrainer.com Rachel provides onsite and virtual business and dining etiquette workshops for corporate clients in Oklahoma and around the country.

Photo source: Chris Montgomery in Unsplash