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The Entrepreneur

Video Conference Etiquette

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Ok, I feel it is important to help everyone with a couple of tips on making the video conferencing life that we are all in as seamless and as energizing as possible!

I have been seeing stories and posts on the hilarious moments and frustrations with how people are engaging with video conferencing. I have also been on several conference calls where I was banging my head against my laptop, begging the hosts and participants to push themselves more.

So, I huddled up with my team members and asked for some tips to bring your best selves.

Be Five Minutes Early

Nothing is worse than being in a waiting room because the host is late. Actually, what’s worse than that: if you are a speaker/panelist and you are late. So my rule has an asterisk, if you are any of the aforementioned, you should be in attendance ten minutes prior to the call and prep it to make sure the experience is A1. Think of it as a dress rehearsal.

As an attendee, try to be five minutes early, do your audio test, and video test to ensure that there are no issues in trying to connect. Trust me, it will pay off because nothing will irk the room then someone who is giving a Muppet moment, (a flapping mouth with no voice)

Be Five Minutes Early

Nothing is worse than being in a waiting room because the host is late. Actually, what’s worse than that: if you are a speaker/panelist and you are late. So my rule has an asterisk, if you are any of the aforementioned, you should be in attendance ten minutes prior to the call and prep it to make sure the experience is A1. Think of it as a dress rehearsal.

As an attendee, try to be five minutes early, do your audio test, and video test to ensure that there are no issues in trying to connect. Trust me, it will pay off because nothing will irk the room then someone who is giving a Muppet moment, (a flapping mouth with no voice)

Add video, spice it up with some animation, bring in another guest speaker to weigh-in and add more energy to your topic. It is essential to throw a bit more into these experiences because the person is no longer physically immerse in an environment.

Visuals Will Help you

Please, please, please, please…please, if you are going to speak, present, or create an experience where you are the authority, I need you to create a visual deck to guide the audience along with you. Think less of it less of a presentation, but more so a tool that shows the visual journey, if not you will lose the audience.

Dress From The Waist Up At Minimum

Ok everyone! I have been saying this from the beginning, unless it’s an internal team meeting (and you all have agreed to be casual-casual) expect to be on a video-on moment. DO NOT be the one who has video-off on an video conference, it looks odd, like the profile on Linkedin with no profile image, so just expect to be dressed business casual or the best version of you at home, because if you are in a full suit or business wear everyone will raise eyebrows. We are all in a tense time, so we don’t expect anyone to be in the corporate garb, but we don’t want you in your pajamas.

Frame Yourself In The Camera, YES LIGHTING COUNTS.

The fact is, we need to see you. Not all of you, more like a medium close up of you and put yourself in the best light. Some quick hacks to frame yourself to the best effect.

           Get an LED light. The likes of Soledad O’ Brien and every
commentator has one!

  •  If using your laptop camera, Wipe. Your. Camera. If not, you will appear muddled and blurry.
  • In case you are again using your laptop, grab a couple of books and stack it up so you are more in the frame.
  • Don’t put a window behind you. You will become a moving shadow. Place a wall as your backdrop, if you don’t want a plain wall, Zoom has gotten really creative with backdrop options for you!  
  • You can use your phone, if your Wi-Fi signal is strong enough and place on a stand, that way your laptop or computer is fully available to you. However, make sure it can take being on Wi-Fi.

Don’t Interrupt

This is a time to be extra polite, to yield the floor and engage in a genuine way with everyone on the video call, trust me it will be appreciated.  I encourage active listening, that means you bring your focus to how everyone is speaking and look for the period in the person’s sentence.

I think establishing guidelines at the beginning of the video call helps to get the flow going. 

If you are in a moderating capacity, it would be especially productive to bring everyone together prior to get speaking patterns and pacing together.

As we move into this new normal of a digital space, I think it’s really necessary to share and create a new digital culture. Allow this moment to bring more of your team into who you are as a person. Allow these hard moments to bring us all together. I have seen some amazing things happening through video conferencing. There have been Tiger King themed team Zooms, pajama Friday team meetings and there’s been amazing office Friday happy hours. Create moments that are reflective of your companies brand!

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The Style

Style Story: Decolonize

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When putting a look together, it is always intentional. It is how I am going into the world, the initial message I will be sending out before I say a word.
That in and of itself is the power of fashion, style is how you make the message your own.

When I caught this shirt in my feed by Self Sovereignty it was an instant must-have, the obsession lately has been with statement tees, with labels that make social commentary that aligns with my beliefs.

The color palette was an intentional push on my part between the oversized coat, the selection of corduroy, and my continued love of any hat.

So check out my Decolinze look.

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