Welcome to the age of video and video conferencing.
Remote work means people are spending more time outside the office. Employees are searching for careers that offer greater work/life balance and fewer hours behind a desk. Yet, even in this dispersed landscape, communication is still the key to business success.
50% of the US workforce will work remotely by the end of 2020. But there are still tons of people out there who have no clue how to master the equipment available to them.
How do you mute yourself when you’re listening to a coworker? Can you wear your PJs to your home office? Is it bad taste to dial into a meeting from your bed?
Here are some top tips to ensure that your next meeting goes well.
1. Choose the Right Space
You don’t need a professional conference room for a video meeting. However, you do need somewhere reasonably private.
Choose a spare room or ask your family to leave your living room for an hour.
Make sure your space has plenty of light. If it doesn’t, grab some extra lamps so that your team can see your face. Then practice getting the perfect shot. Just like grabbing a selfie, you need to make sure your camera is in the right place to make you look clear and professional. Also . . .
- Don’t sit too close to the camera, and don’t hide in the corner of the room.
- If your office space is messy, learn how to use virtual backgrounds on Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
- Double-check your internet connection in your chosen area too. It needs to be strong!
2. Practice Using Your Video Conferencing Software
Most video conferencing software is pretty simple these days.
You can launch a call on Zoom with a single click. But do you know how to use all the other features of your conferencing tool?
Here are a few things you might want to figure out:
- Shortcuts: You can use commands and other alternatives to instantly launch meetings, mute your microphone, and send files. Learn how this works with your chosen software.
- Mute: If you’re not talking, it’s good manners to mute your microphone. No one wants to be distracted by your dog barking in the background.
- Hand raising: If your tool offers a hand-raising feature, it’s a good way to signal you have something to say without interrupting.
Check how you can add files to your conversation or share your screen for context too.
3. Master Video Conferencing Etiquette
Once you’ve got your space and your software figured out, it’s time to focus on you.
You’ve tweaked your camera into the perfect position, so now make sure you look good. Brush your hair, change into professional clothes, and wash your face. Just because you’re not in a traditional office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look the part.
Check your audio to make sure that you sound clear. Headphones will stop you from having to deal with any annoying echo.
Close the door and let your family members know you’re taking a meeting. This might help to prevent your toddler from suddenly strolling into the shot.
Once you get your invitation for the call, join the conference promptly. Bring any information you need and stay focused. Be attentive, listen to what your colleagues have to say, and don’t let your mind wander. Keep your eye on the screen (and camera). Don’t read emails or check your phone.
4. Have a Killer Conference
These days, video conferencing is one of the most popular ways to communicate.
With a little software and a webcam, you can mimic all the nuances of face-to-face interactions from anywhere. However, it’s still worth making sure you know how to get the most out of every conference.
Learning how to use your software, set up your space, and make the right impression is vital.
Enjoy your next conference call.