Q&A: My new gig involves a lot of FaceTime meetings. Anything I should know?

Videoconferences should be handled with the same degree of professionalism as in-person meetings.

My new gig involves a lot of FaceTime meetings. Anything I should know?

There’s no doubt about it — videoconferencing (such as FaceTime and Skype) has continued to grow in popularity. It’s probably one of the most time-saving and cost-effective tools there is, especially since so many folks are telecommuting and working with national offices and international clients. (Think of the airfare being saved on hour-long out-of-province meetings.)

The first rule of videoconferencing is to realize it’s a real meeting. Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised. Videoconferences are not the same as dial-in conference calls during which people tend to multitask (doodle, text, check Facebook, etc.) when they’re not directly participating. In this case, attendees are listening and watching, so be aware of clothing choices and background scenery (read: know what is behind and around you). “You must maintain the same self-awareness as you would in an in-person meeting,” says Karen Cleveland, a Toronto-based etiquette expert. If you’re not tech-savvy, it might take time to get used to it but remember to make eye contact with the camera, or you’ll appear distracted.

About the Author

Stephanie Tarling

Stephanie Tarling is a freelance writer in Toronto.

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