Video conferencing etiquette:

Most of us have experience of video calling now. These are my observations on how to run a successful and hopefully – not boring – video meeting.

Firstly, if you are recording the meeting, get everyone’s explicit permission to do so and offer to send everyone the link afterwards.

Always agree how long the meeting will last. Never go over that time – if you have run out of time it is your fault as the host for not controlling the meeting properly. If you need more time – agree another meeting with a smaller agenda, maybe later the same day if possible.


Agree that if anyone needs to leave the meeting – even for a short time – that that is OK and they needn’t say anything about doing so.

Allow people to switch off their video if they wish.

Keep everyone on mute unless they are speaking – to save embarrassing noises.

Always have an agenda that is sent to all attendees prior to the meeting, then cover it off with actions at the end.

Agree how someone should notify the host that they wish to speak – a gesture, a chat message etc.


Honestly, to expect attendees to be able to pay attention for more than an hour when working from home is expecting too much.

My suggestions for a successful video meeting:

Always enable a waiting room so that everyone can be ready for when you start the meeting.

5 minutes to welcome all and:

  • Agree recording or not
  • Agree agenda
  • Agree timing


  • 15 minutes talking
  • 5 minutes break
  • 20 minutes talking
  • 5 minute break
  • Final 10 minute recap and agree next steps

Total: 60 minutes – if you cannot keep to that sort of timing then your meetings are too long and you risk them being non productive.

Optional breakout rooms; 10 minute timed breakout room intervals splitting out attendees into separate groups to discuss the main topics and reach a consensus – if that is what you are looking for. If you need to learn about breakout rooms read this article.

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