It’s election day, and in the interest in educating the masses, I am ready to drop some knowledge.
In the last eight months, you have probably found yourself on some video conference calls. Odds are without proper training, you may feel lost or confused as to the proper decorum surrounding video calls. I am here for you and for anyone that needs help when it comes to the dos and don’ts for video calls. Being the public servant that I am, I have outlined the top five dos and the top five don’ts for video calls.
Top Five Dos for Video Calls
Let’s start positive, with five being the most important thing to do on a video call.
- Have a webcam and know how it works
Just as the call is about to start is not the time to figure out how to do a video call. Remind yourself as you get frustrated that five-year-old children can figure it out, so you should be able to too.
- Start out on mute
Do this just in case, it’s always better to join and then unmute then to join and forget that Rob Zombie is still cranked up in your office. We’ve all realized we have a meeting last minute and rushed to join.
- Wear clothes
Make sure you for sure have clothes on before the call. If you need to use the preview feature, do so.
No one likes a grumpy grump on a call, and if you are staring a death glare into the camera, odds are people are making fun of you. Smiling also is a good indicator to others that you are not an asshole.
- Turn off the camera when you’re done
I am ALWAYS the last one off the call, because every time I am hoping someone forgets to turn their camera off and starts to do something dumb. So, unless you are on a call with me and you want to provide me with some entertainment, be sure to leave the call and switch your camera off.
Top Five Don’ts for Video Calls
These may seem obvious, but I am here for you.
- The light should not be behind you
When the main source of light is behind your face, you start to look like a Sith Lord, and unless you are auditioning for the Mandalorian, probably something you want to avoid.
- Wait to eat
NO ONE, I REPEAT, NO ONE, wants to watch and listen to you chewing your food up close. If you are that hungry, mute yourself and turn your camera off for a minute while you stuff your pie hole.
- Maintain your distance
Cameras are getting better and better and the boogers in your nose are not something people want to see. Also, keep in mind if you are farther away, check for your clothes!
- Watch your face!
Remember you’re supposed to smile? That means you also shouldn’t be rolling your eyes or throwing your hands up. Is it justified? Probably. Is it worth the five follow up calls to smooth things over afterwards? Absolutely not.
Remember: Fake it to make it baby.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: DO NOT JERK OFF ON VIDEO CALLS.
What is concerning is the fact that we need to cover this. Some helpful suggestions: lock your phone and put it away. Close all browsers during the call. Try thinking about how long and boring half-time is during football games. If it’s really hard, hang a post-it note above your monitor that says: Grandma Loves You.
Remember, don't be that guy / gal.