As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.
TOP TIP : Test your camera BEFORE the meeting. If you are on Windows you can click the Search icon usually on the bottom of your task bar, type in ‘camera’ and click ENTER – this will open your camera and you can see what others will see.
- Check you have enough light on your face.
- Check you have a clear background eg not your messy kitchen.
- If on a laptop you can stack some books up to give the camera height so you aren’t looking down into the lens.
Do: Mute your microphone whenever you’re not speaking — even if you’re alone in the room. Background noise can be an annoying distraction and stifle any meeting’s flow.
Do: Be aware of your video settings. Check if your microphone is muted before delivering a two-minute monologue that no one will hear.
Do: Wear appropriate clothing. I know it can be tempting — especially if you work from home — to wear a work shirt and athletic shorts but dress as if you’re meeting face to face. You never know if you’re going to have to get up suddenly or if your camera might fall. So wear clean, professional clothing for your video calls.
Do: Your wall art or decorations should be work-appropriate and your surroundings clean. If your room looks like a college dorm room after a bender, clean it or find a different room. This also includes your desk! Avoid having multiple coffee mugs, dishes and trash on the surface.
Do: Test your microphone before you video call, especially if it’s an important meeting. Test it by video conferencing your colleague before the meeting. Nothing is worse than trying to share something critical, and not being able to communicate clearly because your audio clarity and volume are poor.
Do: If you’re in a group call without video, introduce yourself before you talk. Consider something like “Hi it’s Jim, I have a question.” While several programs will notify you as to who is talking, conference line numbers will not. Therefore, be polite and introduce yourself.
Don’t: Check or read emails or peruse articles while on the video call. This also includes doing additional work beyond the call. It’s easy for other participant’s to tell if you aren’t fully focused and present during the video call.
Do: When you’re talking, look into the camera instead of looking at yourself talking on the computer screen. It will help others on the call feel like you’re 100 percent engaged and present.
It’s important to remember that video conferences are essentially in-person interactions that allow businesses to communicate more effectively.
Here are some options we have used and had good results: