The use of videoconferencing has seen record growth in recent months. Few people can miss considering the changes that COVID-19 has brought about with an explosive increase in teleworking, home study or the need for virtual communication with family and friends.
You turn on the laptop, click on the app, and launch the webcam. It may seem simple, but the ease of technology to connect us all can make you forget about the little things we should and should not do.
Especially if you have the head of the company on the other end of the line, the tutor from the university or if you have a videoconference to apply for a job.
A few months ago we published a special with the best free video conferencing applications to make confinement more bearable and today we are going to complete it with a series of tips for its effective implementation.
Tips for the perfect video conference
Attention to clothing
- Think of video conferencing like a face-to-face meeting and follow the right habits. You can not be in shorts, panties or a ball chopped from the stomach down. The webcam can slide an inch down and whatever happens …
- Take care of your toilet before sitting down to the meeting. If you have your mother on the other side there is no problem; mothers forgive everything. But some pints are seen … Imagine that you want to flirt with the girl of your dreams.
- For more serious topics, project a professional face (even if it costs you) as it adds a sense of normality to a remote conversation.
- Wear comfortable but “presentable” clothing and avoid colors that are too bright or too dark. Fine-tune the exposure and brightness of the webcam to make you look your best.
- Look at the camera with good posture. And to be at a desk, not lying on the sofa.
Fix your environment
- Clean the room and the desk. There are environments that are scary …
- Check the background behind you and make sure there is nothing inappropriate. A target with the boss’s face, for example. Or worse.
- Choose an isolated space, preferably with a door, so you can hold the meeting without distraction.
- In this regard, silence your mobile phone to avoid interruptions.
- Inform the family about the meeting time. You are working. Or by taking a virtual exam.
- If you have young children, make sure they stay busy for the duration of the video conference.
- Keep your pets away from the gathering area.
- Choose a virtual background in apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to hide messy backgrounds.
- Have water and tea / coffee on hand in case the video conference goes on.
Configure your equipment
- Choose a comfortable chair to sit on.
- In professional meetings use a monitor that allows you to view slides and spreadsheets easily. The screen of a smartphone can be used for informal meetings but.
- Invest in a good noise-canceling headset.
- Learn how to easily handle the chat application you are going to use. Some are very simple, but others that provide productivity or collaboration are more complex.
- Pay special attention to the settings you may need during the meeting.
- Avoid backlighting as it can darken your face. Natural light or ceiling lights are ideal.
- Nothing is as important in video conferencing as good bandwidth. Anything less than 20 Mbps can pixelate the video.
- If the meeting is critical, have an alternative connection ready. For example, you can set up a separate Wi-Fi access point with the smartphone data.
- Close unnecessary background applications and programs that use a lot of bandwidth.
- Turn off notifications for the course of the meeting.
- Test your team with someone you trust before the actual meeting.
- Try the webcam. The background, the frame to be seen and the effect of light indoors.
- Place your webcam at eye level so you can make eye contact with other people in the meeting.
- If you plan to share your screen, be sure to keep your personal data away. Or inappropriate content.
Manage your time and that of others
- Schedule the video conference well in advance.
- Always be on time. It is helpful to be online a few minutes before the meeting begins.
- If you are unable to attend the meeting or you will be late, inform the person leading the meeting in advance.
- Turn on and turn on the conference equipment beforehand to avoid last-minute technical problems.
- Avoid serious video conferencing off the desktop. On the subway or in the car, a video conference is neither secure nor efficient.
- Consider an audio meeting as a last resort.
Organize your thoughts
- If you are going to lead the meeting, set a clear agenda with start and end times.
- Keep all necessary data as accessible as possible.
- Mark everything relevant to the meeting.
- Clean the desktop to keep the correct information accessible at a glance.
- Write down your queries so you can present them at the right time.
- Share content and files before the meeting to make sure all participants are prepared for the discussion.
Take care of manners
- Introduce yourself if all team members are not familiar with each other.
- Remember that facial expressions convey your thoughts in the absence of other gestures or audio.
- Use visual cues (such as a raised palm) to indicate that you want to speak.
- Participate by speaking clearly into the microphone. Staying silent or disabling the webcam is like filler in a real meeting.
- Mute your microphone when you are not talking if it is unable to cancel background noise.
- If you need to move around in the middle of a meeting to do personal tasks, turn off the video to avoid distractions.
- Wait for the other person to finish speaking. It is difficult to speak all together in a virtual meeting.
- Don’t eat during a meeting. Just water, liquids, coffee or tea.
- Avoid multitasking or drift to social networks, messaging apps when you are in a video conference.
- To make eye contact with a meeting participant, look at the camera and not the person’s face or background.
- Use the text chat feature if available to support queries and to link to relevant documents.
- If you have led the meeting, be sure to sign out last. And a smile or affectionate greeting at the end of the meeting … although it did not go as well as you expected.
You will have already seen. Many details to achieve the perfect video conference. Of course, it is not the same to have your partner, your lifelong colleague or your boss on the other side. In any case, it does not hurt to follow them to adopt correct habits that will serve us in any situation. All of these tips are available in a free PDF downloadable from makeuseof.tradepub.com.