Ken Burgin

Tips for Video Meetings – Setup and Etiquette

Video conferences and meetings are becoming a part of daily work life, allowing remote staff to share and interact more fully. There are many opportunities to use it in restaurant, cafe and event management – any opportunity to work from home is a good one!

Skype has been around for a long time, and Zoom is very popular. Other conference systems include GoToMeeting,, BlueJeans and Google Hangouts Meet.

Conference Etiquette:

  • Integrate meetings into work calendars, so everyone is aware and ready
  • Start and end on time – waiting online is annoying
  • Introduce all the participants, and excuse yourself if leaving
  • Ask off-site participants to speak or share first – it stops them being forgotten.
  • Stay in the line of sight – we can only see what’s in front of the camera
  • Mute yourself if you’re not speaking, and avoid outside noise like using a keyboard
  • Raise your hand to speak – normal banter doesn’t work with remote guests
  • Use a sign to let outsiders know you are online in a meeting – here’s a set to download. You can also use them to signal if they are muted or can’t be seen.
  • Stay engaged, even if you’re not speaking – people see your reaction, just like in a real meeting!
  • Share documents beforehand if they’re to be discussed, or drop them into the document sharing section on Zoom or Skype
  • More good tips here and here

Technical Setup:

  • Everyone needs the apps on their phone, iPad and PC, so they can connect anywhere
  • Make sure all software updates are done well before the meeting – they take time, and it’s tedious waiting for a Skype update!
  • Check the frame view so everyone is visible – use a wide-angle lens
  • Use an external microphone with a group around a table – the laptop mike will not be good enough
  • Get the lighting right – the light should be on your face, not behind

Become Fluent:

  • Learn how to schedule and add Zoom or Skype meeting links into your email – there are add-ons for Outlook, Apple Mail and Gmail
  • Learn how to use the keyboard and HDMI cable connections in meeting rooms
  • Learn how to add people to a meeting, share your screen and troubleshoot
  • Do one of the excellent Zoom training webinars – available at flexible times

Your comments and suggestions are very welcome – please send them to me through Linkedin or Facebook.