4 worst video call blunders (and how not to follow suit)

  Simonx   |   17th March 2021 - 6 min read

For Fun | SchemeServe

1. Make sure you’ve tested the software.

We all remember the US Lawyer, Rod Ponton, who spent his meeting in front of a judge as a cat, because he didn’t know how to turn the filter off. Or the woman who took her laptop to the toilet without turning the camera off.

rod - insurance rating engine

Not cool.

Everyone seems to be using a different tool these days, whether its Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Webex or Skype… the first thing to do is make sure you’re familiar with the software, and that IT WORKS. Especially if you’re using someone else’s laptop, or device!

2. Make sure you look presentable.

With working from home quickly becoming the norm, it’s easy to forget that people can actually see you. Arrange 5 minutes before the call to make sure you look presentable. Check you’re actually wearing clothes for instance (that are ideally clean), that your hair isn’t a shambles and there’s no food stuck to your face etc! We’ve all been there guys…

It’s also important that others in your house know when you’re on a video call – Christina Kerby became famous during lockdown for running naked to get a towel from the linen cupboard, behind her husband in a Zoom team meeting.

christina - insurance software

Zoom streakers aside… looking presentable (putting on clothes as if you’re leaving the house for example) goes a long way towards helping you maintain a positive mental attitude, as well as keeping a disciplined approach to getting ready for work. This can help massively in gaining a healthy separation between work and home – something that SchemeServe, as a fully remote company, we recommend to all of our team.

3. What’s behind you?

Nothing says professional like an open toilet behind you, and a pair of pants on the floor – right?

Check what is visible within the frame of your shot, make sure there isn’t anything in general you wouldn’t want people to see (pants), or stuff they shouldn’t see for security, or GDPR purposes.

If possible, also try and frame the shot in a dedicated space where it’s quiet, and there won’t be people walking through the shot. This isn’t always possible, especially with the recent home-schooling debacle! We all remember the 2017 BBC interview with Professor Robert Kelly…

kids - insurance rating engine

4. Advertise your personality to break the ice (but do it appropriately)

If you’re having meetings with new clients, displaying something in the background that advertises a hobby or passion can be a great ice-breaker. Assuming your passion isn’t dirty pants.

It could be you just want to display some company branding, a mug or company brochure (you will notice the famous purple top hats in view when chatting to the SchemeServe team for example)!

Many of our team are enthusiastic musicians, and instruments are displayed and commonly used as ice breakers!

What is an integral part of your personal brand? What part of your personality would you like to display and talk about?

Word of warning though, if your passion is art, make sure it has a low chance of causing offence! Gareth Barlow, a senior reporter atBBC World,displayed a piece of art in the first few days of lockdown… which was somewhat controversial.

cow2 - insurance software

Preparation and presentability seem to be the key here! But we wont lie.. these blunders have given us all a chuckle over the past year.

Did you know, the state of your CV is also integral to how you present to others. You can find our article on classic CV mistakes HERE.

Or, if you’d like something along the same lines of random fun facts, find our ‘7 Incredible Cases of Insurance FraudHERE.

Simon Cowling

Simon spent over 10 years programming from behind a keyboard, before transitioning across to management. A keen adrenaline junkie, whether that involves going up the mountain or over the edge of the cliff. He learned his management skills not just in the I.T world but also running youth camps and conferences, helping teenagers find a footing in life. He also really likes pie.

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