Make Your Video Meetings Great!
The transition from face-to-face to video meetings may feel awkward for many people. Especially if you are not used to it or feel a little camera-shy. Even those who have used video conferencing before may need a refresher on how to best participate and collaborate with their teams or customers using video.
So, here we have compiled an easy to follow guide to help you get more comfortable with video meetings and make those meetings more enjoyable and productive.
Step 1: Getting Ready
Before you go online, setting up and getting ready is important. Here are our tips on preparation.
Choose a look appropriate to your role in the call, just like you would in a normal meeting. Avoid busy patterns and brilliant whites. Pastel colors work best on camera.
Find a well-lit, quiet space
On video, light & quiet are your friends. A bright, quiet room with little echo is an ideal setting.
Check the Wi-Fi strength
Wherever you choose, make sure your device is showing good signal strength. Good video needs a strong, stable network connection.
Look into the light
Avoid having strong light sources behind you, the camera will adjust exposure and you’ll look like a silhouette. Wherever you can have the strongest lighting in front of you, illuminating your face.
Scan the background
Don’t get too hung up on what’s in the background but give a look-over to make sure there’s nothing there that you’d rather not been seen or might create a major distraction for the others in the meeting.
Get eye-to-eye with your cam
Check where the camera is on your device and try to position it so that it’s roughly at your eye level or a little above. No-one, except a vampire, likes looking at someone’s throat.
Your cat might think it owns your house, but on this occasion, you need your space. Tell family you’re on a video call, shut doors to keep curious animals and children at bay. Consider even posting a sign on the door as a reminder.
Sit and get comfortable
Take 4 or 5 minutes before the call to check everything is working, to remind yourself of the purpose and participants and to practice your smile. Now relax!
Step 2: During the call
Now it’s time to connect. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Connect to your meeting a couple of minutes ahead if possible, this gives you some time to check all is working and to relax into the situation.
Don’t skimp on introductions
Make sure everyone on the call knows who is there and is clear of the purpose of the call. Give them a warm welcome.
Don’t assume that the other parties are seeing and hearing what you expect. Check with them, especially if sharing documents or screens.
Smile! You’re on camera
Video calls are an unfamiliar situation for many, and so a smile and relaxed body language can go a long way to helping everyone settle. Regularly look straight at the camera to make “eye contact” with the others on the call.
Coughs, sneezes, barking, keyboard clicks, and sirens can be easily avoided by hitting mute. If you’re not speaking, then hit mute if you’re in a noisy environment and don’t be shy about asking other participants to do likewise if their ambient noise is intrusive. Remember, of course, to un-mute when you want to speak!
Ask for feedback and input
Two or more people talking at once is tricky on video, so pause frequently to invite comments and feedback, if someone has been quiet, perhaps ask them by name.
Summarize and confirm
At the end of the call, it’s helpful to summarize the discussion and outcomes, and check that all participants are agreed.
Keep calm and carry on
Glitches sometimes happen, but the technology is generally very good at recovering. So just go with the flow and keep going. Things normally work out just fine.
Step 3: After the call
Post-video meeting etiquette can make a difference too. Here are a few pointers on that:
Leave the call!
Even the most seasoned video callers can sometimes forget to leave the call, so make sure you exit. No one wants to hear you sweet-talking the budgie or see you adjusting your underwear.
Clear down documents
If documents or other artifacts have been shared in the call, check that they are removed or archived such that they don’t materialize in other calls.
Share recordings and other creations
Many tools allow recordings of the call, or co-creation of materials through shared whiteboards etc. Make sure these are shared as necessary or archived for future reference.
Thank the participants
A short thank you and perhaps a request for ideas for making future calls more effective is often appreciated. And it may give people who didn’t feel fully comfortable commenting during the live call an extra chance to share their views.
Congratulations! You deserve a pat on the back for running a great call which achieved its goals and made people feel comfortable and engaged. So now, on to the next…
If you made it this far through our guide to making your video meetings great, hopefully you discovered some helpful tips and hints that will make your next video meeting more productive and enjoyable for you and those who join you!