Video Call Best Practices

Best Practices for Video Calls

When participating in video calls or conferencing, it is important to be aware of external sounds, distracting backgrounds, and general etiquette

General Best Practice and Courtesy

  • It is recommended that meeting organizers include a list of guidelines and "meeting rules" when sending invitations, especially for large group meetings. 
    • Helpful guidelines include advising attendees to enter the meeting with microphones muted, using the "raise hand" or chat feature for questions, etc.  Continue reading for more guideline suggestions
  • Be punctual to meetings, as entering a meeting after it begins can be very distracting to the presenter
  • Test connection, audio, and video prior to the meeting to avoid absorbing meeting time with technical issues
  • Be present in each meeting.  Texting, answering emails, and having side conversations can be distracting for attendees
  • Be sure the call has ended completely before starting a new conversation outside of the meeting
  • Silence your phones and devices to avoid distractions
  • If conducting a large meeting, consider having a person assigned to assist with monitoring chat to field questions from attendees
  • Be cognizant of attendees' time.  Consider ending meetings at the x:50 mark, in order to give attendees time to prepare for their next meeting


  • Prior to any call, ensure you have a working microphone. 
    • Participating in a practice call prior to your meeting can be beneficial to ensure you can hear and be heard
  • Be sure to mute your microphone when you are not speaking to minimize distracting background noise
  • If you are conducting the meeting, consider starting a bit early to allow time for any audio connectivity issues to be resolved
    • If any attendees do not have working microphones, instruct them to utilize the chat/raise hand feature
    • Be aware of any questions or comments that appear in chat, and keep an eye out for anyone "raising their hand"
  • If you are a participant, use the chat window or "raise hand" feature to communicate you have a question in order to prevent talking over others in the meeting
  • Be sure to speak clearly and a bit more slowly than an average conversation for clarity
  • Be sure to adjust the sound settings within the conference software, as well as on your computer/device before announcing sound issues in the meeting. Many times, audio issues are due to adjustments in settings, and not due to technical issues on the presenter's side


  • Consider turning video on whenever possible as courtesy to other attendees and promote stronger social connection
  • Be aware of lighting
    • Too much light will white out the video
    • Beware of backlight.  If you have a sunny window or very bright light behind you, attendees will see the light and not your face
  • Consider blurring your background in Microsoft Teams, or using the Virtual Background in Zoom, to eliminate distractions and protect your privacy
  • If you need to leave your desk during a video call, be sure to turn off your camera before leaving, and turn it back on when you return.  This minimizes distraction for the other parties
  • Avoid chewing gum or eating while in important meetings, especially if you are presenting
  • Be cognizant of facial reactions to conversations while on video
  • Keep body movements minimal  Over-gesticulation and head movements can be distracting for attendees
  • When presenting, make "eye contact" by looking into the lense whenever possible

Screen and File Sharing

  • When sharing your screen, it is recommended to only share the application or window in which you are working, in order to protect privacy and University confidentiality
    • If you must share your entire desktop, as you are going to be showing multiple screens, please ensure you don't have any private and personal windows open that may inadvertently be displayed. This protects your privacy and avoids any issues for the viewer


Additional Information


Article ID: 101907
Wed 3/18/20 9:05 AM
Fri 8/14/20 1:52 PM