With the advancement of technology came a platform in which human beings can engage in face to face conversations globally through video calling. Video calls are mostly made using Skype and the new application called face-time. Video calls have proved to be more efficient than phone calls and texts because it displays more verbal and non-verbal elements of communication and therefore one is able to effectively pass across a message and get a feedback. In addition to this, it has enabled people to conduct business globally and give presentations to people over long distances with the help of the web camera on top of laptops or the front camera of smart phones. To human beings, seeing is believing and so video calls have helped in this aspect.

Despite the fact that we have used video calls for a while, there is a certain code of conduct that one should follow to ensure proper understanding which would enable one to reach an agreement, build a relationship and also to create a proper impression for yourself . The following are an order of etiquette that one should observe when using the video calling platform especially Skype.

First, always send a text message to request for the video call. By the second party agreeing to be in your contact list does not mean that you can call them at whatever time you want. This person might be busy in another call or be doing something confidential and therefore it is only courteous to send a request. If you are the second party, always remember to either use “away”, “busy” or “offline” buttons to show that you are occupied at that time. The other person should adhere to this.

Preparation is key. Make sure you look presentable to make a good first impression depending on the formality of the call. Make sure your camera is working using the video quality settings. Prepare the background depending on the formality of the video call by ensuring the area is neat and the lighting is perfect. Go through the presentation if there is one and ensure that you can easily access it during the call. Aim the camera at a proper angle. Do not sit too close to the camera or you will look too zoomed in and do not sit too far either. Ensure that there is no obstacle between you and the camera.

During the call, it is good to start with friendly small talk in order to make the second party comfortable with your presence before the main subject. Use clear speech, universal language and courteous words as you would in a face to face conversation. I addition to this, listen as much as you speak because proper communication is two way, give the second person time to speak as you use your listening skills. Ensure the volume is sufficient or test the earpiece you are using to avoid misunderstanding. Lastly, after the call, send a follow up text thanking them for their time.

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