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April Showers Bring May Flowers and More Video Conference Calls

April showers bring May flowers! May is sure to be a colorful and pretty month, even with the pandemic. But is your May also filled with video conference calls at work? And they, unfortunately, can be pretty annoying when you're meeting with others who don’t know the etiquette rules of video conferencing. Here are our top three ways to make sure you aren’t the one annoying everyone else.

Focus on the people on the call. No one is as good at multitasking as they think they are. People can see you looking down at your iPhone or reading documents on your screen (especially when you have poor eyesight and have to move your face close to the screen) when you are supposed to be listening to others. They can also hear you type (especially if you are an aggressive typer). If you aren’t supposed to be looking something up on the Internet, reading a document or typing something for the video conference wait until you are off the call to complete those tasks.

Silence is golden. Use the mute button when you aren’t talking. This blocks your home noise – pets, children, spouse or roommate. It also helps reduce the chances of audio feedback. When you do speak, add a pause before you do so to help avoid talking over someone. No one will even hear that extra second or two of a pause, but it can help alleviate awkward exchanges of “I’m sorry, go ahead” and the typical reply back, “No you, go ahead” followed by, “No, you go ahead.”

Body language matters. We’ve always stressed to our students the importance of deportment to convey confidence. 55 percent of the message your body sends is attributed to the way you look as well as the confidence you exude and your body language. With a video call – you are on camera, so look appropriate, sit up straight, make eye contact with those on the call (not with your picture in the bottom corner of the screen - cover that with a sticky note), and don’t forget to smile.

Have a marvelous rest of your week –

P.S. We almost forgot to share with you our news – we ‘re now on Facebook! We would love it if you would go and LIKE our Marvelously Well-Mannered page, and tell your friends who are interested in putting their best, polished & polite foot forward at work, and in life!


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