Video communication has quickly become a business standard for companies over the past few years. It's a great way to keep in touch with employees, clients, and colleagues, independent of their location. It's been shown that talking to someone face-to-face results in better meetings, fewer misunderstandings and a better sense of community and teamwork. Video conferencing software gives you the opportunity to meet with people located across the country or around the world.
We've gathered our 8 best-practice tips for enhancing your video conferences, ensuring you get the most out of your valuable time spent in front of the camera.
Test your equipment
Take a minute before your meeting to log into your video conferencing software. Test your audio and video connections to be sure they’re working as required. You don't want to be the one holding up the team when it's time to start.
At the beginning of the video conference, the meeting organiser or host should check to be sure that everyone is on camera and audio working so this doesn't become an issue later in the meeting.
Use a headset
Be considerate of those around you. Similar to when you are on the phone in the office, your co-workers do not want to listen to you, or other meeting participants talking while they are trying to work. Your co-workers are having their own conversations with colleagues and clients and will be extremely grateful that your meeting is not interrupting their workday.
Check your lighting
As great as the office window seats may seem, they are not always optimal locations for video conferencing. Reality is, natural light creates a harsh image and makes it difficult for other meeting participants to see you in the camera.
Alternatively, if you are away from natural light, make sure your space is bright enough for the video conference. Adjust overhead lighting, lamps, screens in the background, and any other interfering light sources to ensure your image isn’t obscured by them before your conference begins.
Clear the clutter
Be aware of your background. Are you working from home? Make sure the dirty laundry is tucked away and your space looks neat and professional. At the office? Hang the company logo in the background and show off your brand. Keep the desk in front of you free of unnecessary clutter.
Inform participants you are recording
If you choose to record the meeting, let the others know you are recording before you push the record button. This lets the participants know to keep the personal conversations to a minimum and will keep your meeting on track. It helps everyone stay engaged with the current discussion and allows people to follow without having to stop and take note. Proper office etiquette dictates that you offer to share access of the recording with all attendees.
Manners are business critical
Be polite and engaged while in the meeting. It's easy to start trying to multitask when the conversation veers away from your direct involvement, but this can be distracting to the rest of the participants.
Also, avoid any personal behaviours you don't want others to see, like putting on lipstick or rolling your eyes. Stay professional and polite. The same rules apply here as if you are in the boardroom giving a big presentation.
If you are the video conference planner, make sure you are prepared for the meeting. Have an agenda and discussion topics. Know ahead of time what the goal is. Share it with the other participants, so they can come to the meeting with their ideas.
If you are a meeting attendee, take time to review the agenda and give it some thought. Be prepared to answer questions or fill in blanks as need be on any projects you are involved in.
Keep your meeting concise and on-topic. It's easy at times to become distracted on video conferences, so keeping the meeting as brief as possible will help everyone stay on task.
Engage with all participants
Communication during a video conference is important. Speak clearly, at a good volume. Look directly at the camera when talking, treat your conference like it’s a face-to-face conversation, because it is!
If you are sharing content during the video conference, position it so you are still looking directly at the camera. If you do a screen share, you will be away from the camera for a time, so your audio will need to make up for the lack of sight. Be sure to engage the rest of the participants in this part of the meeting to keep their attention. Ask open-ended questions to keep them engaged and interested.
A well executed video conference can be a powerful tool in today's workplace. By following our best practice tips, you'll be well on your way to becoming a conferencing superstar! If you're looking for the best video conferencing solution to put these tips into practice, consider Video Conferencing with Express Virtual Meetings.