Do’s and Don’ts of Video Conferences

Whether you’re Skyping a coworker, interviewing via video chat, or spending your so-called vacation in the Bahamas dealing with a work crisis, chances are you need a little guidance on just what you can get away with. So for your next formal business meeting, keep these tips in mind:

Do use the small box reflecting your side of the computer to check yourself out. Tip: move the mirror-box to the top of your screen, right next to the camera. Who said vanity can’t make you look both attractive and attentive?

Don’t go overboard with the mirror thing. Just because the Blue Steel might seem badass when alone in your room doesn’t mean that the business world necessarily understands the magnitude of being really, really, ridiculously good-looking.

Don’t wear stripes, which will freeze your computer about 50 percent of the time. Plaids and bright paisleys yield a much higher success rate.

Do mute other windows on your computer. That way, when your boss starts discussing, say, cross-channel marketing, secretly chatting with that hot date you met last night could become entirely necessary to appear interested. Furrow brows and type intensely for bonus points.

Don’t dabble in cybersex while conversing with your boss. There is no way he will believe you are actually that excited about synergy.

Do experiment with creative muting techniques. Muting and de-muting an authority figure in quick succession will turn tough criticism into a treasure hunt for profanity and fart-like syllables.

Don’t go on Chat Roulette. Of course you could never confess something like this, so chances are screaming and looking scarred for life will only alienate your colleague with the brand-new face-lift.

Don’t pick your nose onscreen. Or off-screen. Or in any situation. And never, ever flick. Gross.

Don’t eat anything obnoxious and noisy. Potato chips, carrots, and Captain Crunch are big no-nos. Unless you’re a real pro, avoid planning Warhead challenges with your buddies if you know you have a meeting that day. Save such challenges for an audience less prone to heartburn and constipation.
*Also, don’t rely on Lucky Charms for good fortune when interviewing. Instead use lucky pennies, which have a much higher marginal utility.

Do use this opportunity to drink choice beverages. Keep a spare indie coffee shop cup on-hand, pour drink into cup, and voila: thirst quenched, image intact, and seriously sick bragging rights. If anyone asks, it’s black tea with a dash of lemon.

Do remove all North Korean flags from your background. Same goes for blow up dolls, Justin Bieber posters, lesbianswholooklikeJustinBieber posters, taser collections, Beirut tables, cartoons of religious icons, and all women you neither married nor conceived. That means no Moms.

Do make a list of short, entertaining YouTube videos to watch while bored. “Sneezing Panda” and “Otters Holding Hands” will at least warm your heart while your colleagues berate you for being so damn happy about the fundamentals of downsizing. Hey, ignorance is bliss.

-Casey Brown

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