Virtual Etiquette – Adapting In-Person Skills to the Virtual Environment

Virtual Etiquette

How to adapt your in-person etiquette skills to the virtual environment 


I was highly influenced by a Grandmother who was adamant about teaching her grandchildren the art of etiquette. We were taught to walk with heavy library books on our heads so as to maintain an aligned physique and straight posture. We were taught proper table settings and use of flatware in social situations. We were also taught to smile when we walk into a room to relax others.

If you weren’t raised on Post Etiquette here is an interesting article: Emily Post


virtual etiquette


Given our COVID-19 communication landscape we should all consider the new rules of virtual etiquette.  Some of the rules are drastically different than in-person but easily adaptable with a bit of thought and practice.

Here is a list of 5 in-person skills with their simple virtual adaptation:


  1. Smile when you enter a room:

Adaptation:  Be sure you are smiling when logging in to your virtual meeting if you are using a webcam as the entire virtual room can see you.

  1. Shake hands with someone you know as soon as you enter the room:

Adaptation:  Send a group or private chat to someone or multiple people you know saying hello or any other entry message you would like to portray

  1. Eye contact

Adaptation:  When you “walk” into a virtual room be sure you are looking straight at the camera so the audience will know you are looking at them.  If you glance away or need to multi-task please turn on your Avatar so people are not distracted by you being distracted.

  1. Assigned seating at the table:

Adaptation:  As soon as you enter the virtual room and made at least one personal connection, choose the feature that allows you to change your screen name.  Your screen name might look like this:

Kimberli Allen but you can change it to:

Kimberli Allen, Everything Webinar so people can see not only your name but your company.  Your screen name along with your company will show your audience your “assigned virtual seating.”

  1.  Speaker introduction:

Adaptation:  If you are keynoting or speaking at a virtual event there should be a speaker introduction already planned.  In a pre-COVID scenario you would walk up onto the stage, be introduced by the MC and handed a microphone.  If the moderator in your virtual event has not introduced you, be sure your introduction of yourself is less than 30 seconds.  Spend a little bit of time on your virtual background, lighting, microphone, headset and ambient noise so you are able to produce the highest quality virtual keynote possible.  I recommend you schedule a Virtual Office Audit.


If you have questions regarding your next Virtual Event/Presentation please be in touch here: info@everythingwebinar or schedule a Coaching sessionTraining program or book a Virtual Office Audit and further explore your training options.

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About the author: Kimberli Allen

About the author: Kimberli Allen

Kimberli Allen, Principal and Founder of Everything Webinar, LLC, is an international communication and presentation skills expert. She has acquired 20+ years experience as a corporate trainer, coach and entrepreneur (both virtual and in-person). Kimberli has designed numerous customized training programs, worked with such clients as Nike, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, and TAB Products, and personally coached thousands of clients in more than 32 countries. When Kimberli is not leading a training program or launching new products to enhance communication and presentation skills around the globe, you can find her competing in a duathlon or triathlon with her two daughters.