THE MUTE FUNCTION IS YOUR FRIEND!
As a responsible member of the profession, you should observe the basic etiquette of meetings even when others on the call or video link can’t see or hear you.
I was recently on a long (almost 2 hours) conference call with a number of high level executives where one person who likely spends many hours a week on conference calls forgot to mute their phone … This unfortunate oversight included a car trip to a coffee shop and then three short conversations with a wait person at the coffee shop. During this whole time, the ambient noise of this person’s line was extraordinarily distracting, creating a very challenging atmosphere for others to pay attention to the focus of the call.
While the above incident was pretty innocuous with respect to what we overheard (that person is incredibly kind and polite), it left a negative impression upon many. You don’t ever want to be that person.
Check out this video and see if you can spot the problems. (It’s ok to laugh.)
#1 Tip: If you are not talking (in a multiparty conference) then MUTE YOUR MICROPHONE and double check to ensure it is REALLY muted.