What do you do when your child, dog, cat or the delivery man joins you on that video call

So, what do you do when your child, dog, cat or the delivery man joins you on that video call?


We have all seen it and many of us have experienced it. That embarrassing moment when our business video call gets interrupted! Some people handle it gracefully while others get flustered so I thought some of you might appreciate some tips on how to handle this problem.


It is worth remembering that most people totally understand and will be happy to give you a moment to do what you need to do.


There are some clear steps to take.


  1. First acknowledge it is happening. Ignoring the interruption does not help and just makes you look unprofessional.
  2. State that you need a moment to handle the situation. There is no need to go into a big apology just a brief, “Sorry about this I just need to handle this”. State how long it will take.
  3. Mute yourself and switch off your video camera.
  4. Calmly and gently handle the situation. If it is your child reassure them and deal with what they need. If it is a pet you may need to gently shut them in a different room. With either children or pets if there is someone else in the house get them to help you by taking over supervision. And of course if it is just a delivery handle that.
  5. When you come back on line, state “okay I’m back”.


It is worth taking a moment to also learn from the experience and in future plan to prevent interruptions where you can. If you are doing a live TV interview of course that planning is a really good idea.


Do share here what interruptions you have had to deal with or observe. Be nice and don’t name anyone else without their permission.



Melody Cheal MSc MAPP
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