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7 June 2021
Judi James

The etiquette of virtual business communication

Has your business moved to a more virtual communication model? Whether you’re running virtual sales pitches, board meetings or client business reviews, it’s important to leave the right impression on a video call. Here, etiquette queen Judi James offers 7 tips to make sure your business makes the most of virtual opportunities.

Corporate charisma and ambience

Vital for successful businesses – and those skills will need to apply to all forms of communication, from face-to-face to websites, e-mails and Zoom meetings. Team briefings will be vital to create the kind of re-branding that will continue to impress clients in the new post-pandemic world.

Design some signature body language rituals

To replace normal touch-based greetings and to avoid the kind of arm-flailing dithering that creates poor synchronicity or choreography. This is a good time to promote your brand via your re-designed body language signalling.

Host as normal

Even when you’re doing virtual hosting. A lot of business video meetings lack planning and proper hosting, with hosts often arriving after the clients have checked in. Decide on meeting rituals like facilitating, introductions and timings just as though you were running the real thing.

Take things further

If the client were coming to your premises, you’d host with drinks and food. Add-on touches that can create corporate charisma could include sending a box of biscuits or goodies over to time with your meeting. (Do check their corporate rules allow them to accept the gift first though)

Belt and braces

Briefing notes can help too. Participants often worry that technical glitches will throw things out of their control. Send some simple tips to let them know what to do and what will happen if there are any problems.


Are just as important as hellos. Learn how to switch off with elegance at the end of a video meeting. Poking a finger at the screen randomly can end the meeting on a low note, but worse is when you fail to disconnect properly and the client hears something not intended for them.

Make sure sign-on, sign-offs and enhancement techniques create the right impression for your business

Gifs and emojis have been a regular feature of lockdown messaging and are right at home on social media, but might not work so well for a corporate audience. Video calls might have progressed from that unmade bed in the background or unflattering lighting, but sitting in front of a virtual background of tropical beaches or outer space or using unrealistic face filters won’t impress clients either.

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Judi James is a leading communication and body language expert whose expertise is sought after in broadcast, corporate and public relations circles. She regularly appears on a number of high profile TV and Radio programmes across many channels. During the General Elections, major political, royal and entertainment events of recent years Judi has made appearances on shows such as ITV’s This Morning, analysing body language. To find out more about Judi James, click here. 

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