Working at home is the new normal—in fact, we are seeing over 40% of Americans working remotely at the moment.
With record numbers of employees logging on from home, it means that we need to change the way we network and communicate. Instead of boardroom conferencing, for example, we are now hosting meetings online, connecting virtually.
However, for some of us, video conferencing is brand-new and can be a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry though, it’s easy to learn!
Keep reading to find seven important video conferencing tips that can help you work remotely and attend digital meetings.
Log On Ahead of Time
As with any meeting, it’s good to be prepared. Of course, with online meetings, your biggest issue is likely to be tech problems.
This is why we recommend logging on at least 5-10 minutes in advance, giving you time to make sure your internet is working correctly, test out your camera, and mentally prepare for the meeting.
Whether you’re using a business phone or a software product to log on, the meeting host should have a tech support number that you can call for any teething tech issues or video conferencing help.
Check Your Background
Once you log in for the meeting, one of our top tips is to check your background. What will others see in your frame when they look behind you?
Clothes scattered all over the floor, a messy kitchen, or dirty dishes aren’t going to create the professional appearance you’re looking for. Try to position your laptop in an area that won’t show too much of your home, unless it’s neutral ground such as your home office or library.
On the subject of backgrounds, you’ll notice that some video conferencing platforms let users customize their backgrounds. This is fine, but if you want to select something tasteful, avoid the silly or inappropriate backgrounds.
Make Sure Your Audio Is Working Properly
If you’re wondering how to video conference, it’s all about your audio and video. Always check your audio connection to ensure that other users will be able to hear you.
If you’re going to give a big video presentation, for example, you may want to do a quick test call with a colleague in advance to check everything is working.
When it comes to audio, you want to make sure it works, but you also need to know when to turn it off. In large meetings, when you’re not speaking, it’s considered good practice to mute your microphone.
This is because background noises or feedback (or your barking dog!) can quickly interrupt a meeting. Luckily, it’s easy to mute and unmute via the click of a button.
Keep to Time
If you’re the one running the meeting, or if you’re presenting, it’s important to keep to the scheduled time. Long meetings can be a drag during the best of times, but it’s even harder to suffer through a long meeting when you’re watching it from a screen.
Everyone is busy and has plenty of work to get done, so your fellow meeting attendees are sure to appreciate a meeting that ends on time.
Don’t Speak Over Anyone
It can be tricky to moderate discussions on video calls, as it’s harder to read people’s body language and notice who is about to start speaking.
As a result, meetings can quickly become chaotic when multiple people try to speak at once. This results in attendees becoming frustrated when they’re unable to hear what others are trying to say.
A good rule for video conferencing etiquette is never to speak over someone else when speaking. Even if you’re eager to speak up, try to be patient and let them finish before chiming in.
Record the Meeting
If you’re in a meeting that’s covering lots of complex information, it can be overwhelming to try to remember everything, take notes, and stay focused. One top tip, if the meeting host allows, is to record the meeting.
This way, you can go back and refer to key moments that you want to watch again.
However, you’ll find that recording is often standard practice, as it’s useful for colleagues who weren’t able to attend live. You can also ask for any presentation slides to be sent through after the meeting, which can be more time-effective than trying to check notes.
Are you curious as to how to look good on video conferencing? The trick is simple—you only need to look professional from the waist up!
If you’ll be sitting down during the meeting, then only your top half will be visible. However, you still want to look your best, so make sure your appearance meets the standard for your company’s dress code.
While any business attire or business casual will be fine, you may want to avoid wearing bold patterns or stripes, as they can appear too busy on camera.
Use These Video Conferencing Tips to Ace Your Next Meeting
Are you ready to embrace online meetings? It’s the way of the future, so use these video conferencing tips to start learning how to handle virtual meetings.
It can be confusing at first, but the good news is that most video conferencing platforms are made as intuitive as possible, so you’re sure to pick it up in no time at all.
Switch on the laptop, log on, and get ready to enjoy the convenience and efficiency of online meetings!
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