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Etiquette and best practices for web conferencing

Whether you are experienced with web conferencing or just learning, it’s important to understand the best practices and etiquette, especially when you may be working remotely.

Web conferencing (also known as videoconferencing) provides opportunities for you to stay connected with other individuals in an online capacity through your desktop and mobile devices, typically through video and audio connections. Some beneficial features may include high-definition video, screen sharing, in-meeting chat, voice calling, and document sharing.

Top 10 tips for web conferencing etiquette

  1. Connect a few minutes early, if possible, to allow time for setup.
  2. Check your WiFi network beforehand.
  3. Remove clutter or personal items around you.
  4. Avoid background noise.
  5. Consider using a headset to reduce distractions.
  6. Keep your device (phone, computer, etc.) on mute unless you are speaking.
  7. Speak clearly, but not too loudly.
  8. Allow time for participants to ask questions and finish speaking.
  9. Limit any side conversations.
  10. Direct questions to a specific individual on the web conference.

Want more details? Below, you’ll find additional information on the best practices for web conferencing.

Preparing for your web conference

  • If you are hosting a meeting, ensure that all your guests have the meeting invitation link and discussion materials in advance.
  • If you have a presentation to show via video, test it out before the meeting to make sure it works properly.
  • If the conference will be recorded, get permission from participants and then confirm again on the call before you record.
  • If you have a meeting scheduled, make sure you are in a quiet space with the right lighting, so others can easily see you on camera when you’re speaking.
  • Remove clutter or personal items in your environment that may distract others.
  • Avoid background noise. This includes muting cellphones and turning off notification sounds on your computer.

Checking your technical equipment

  • Ensure that you have a high-quality internet connection through your WiFi network.
  • Make sure your computer and all apps are up to date, so that your web conferencing software will be able to run correctly.
  • Adjust your webcam to ensure other participants can see you.
  • You may want to use a headset to reduce background noise and other distractions.

Communicating during your web conference

  • Be punctual and introduce yourself when you arrive.
  • Before your meeting kicks off, take a minute to conduct an audio check to ensure everyone can hear one another.
  • Speak clearly and in a normal voice. Do not shout.
  • Keep your microphone on mute if you are not actively engaged in a conversation to eliminate any potential distractions or background noise. Also, take notice of your microphone settings throughout the meeting, as you don’t want to start talking while you’re still on mute.
  • Limit multitasking including side conversations and using other applications, especially when you’re on a video call. Others can easily tell when you are not completely involved.

Working effectively when web conferencing

  • When you ask a question or request information, allow time for responses in case your web conferencing tool has a delay.
  • Make sure to direct your questions to a specific individual in your meeting.
  • Don’t interrupt other speakers while they are presenting. If you have a question that you don’t want to forget, there may be a chat window available for you to type in, so that it can be addressed later.