Video Conferencing Tips for More Productive Meetings
Effective video conferencing has become an essential skill for business professionals. Learn how to run a successful video conference here.
Making the Most of Your Time
Video conferences allow remote teams to discuss ideas, overcome obstacles, debate issues and drive outcomes. Sometimes, however, they evolve into huge time-sucks that actually disrupt productivity. With the following tips, you can streamline your video meetings and create a more productive experience for every participant.
Know your tools. Make sure you understand the ins and outs of whatever video conference program you are using. You might be experienced with iPhone and Facetime video chats; however, this isn't enough when there are business stakes involved. There are numerous corporate video conferencing options, and each one has a number of unique features. Whatever option you select, make sure the presenter and participants understand that casual familiarity won't be enough to guarantee a smooth experience.
Ensure stable connectivity. A fast and stable Internet connection is essential for a fluid, efficient video conference. Slow or unreliable connectivity can disrupt the entire experience by causing visual and audio disruptions. If you are using a laptop, consider plugging in an Ethernet (LAN) cable to guarantee a stable connection. If Wi-Fi is your only option, make sure you choose a secure connection with advanced encryption and password protection.
Test, test, test. Don't just show up at the last moment and log into your video meeting. Arrive early enough to test your settings, so you won't waste time ironing out the kinks. You don't want to deliver a two minute monologue only to discover your microphone has been muted. Take a few minutes to test all of your settings and get everything set just right before your meeting kicks off.
Practice good etiquette. Poor video conferencing etiquette can be extremely disruptive. Make sure to mute your microphone when you aren't speaking, so your colleagues won't have to listen to background noise. Don't type during your video conference and avoid eating or drinking. Try to maintain good eye contact and dress appropriately in professional attire. You should also make sure you have good lighting and adjust your camera angle to promote a flattering perspective.
Stay focused. Make sure to give your colleagues your complete attention, even if they are discussing matters outside your department. Don't check emails or browse through your smartphone. You should also look into the camera instead of looking at yourself talking on the computer. This is a good way to clearly demonstrate that you are fully engaged in the meeting.
Find a private setting. Try to isolate yourself away from noise and distractions. Let coworkers know you will be participating in a video conference, so you won't have any surprise interruptions. Shut off your phone and lock your office door to make sure no one barges in with an unrelated emergency. If you must conduct your conference in a public setting, use your mute button judiciously to prevent background noise from becoming disruptive.
Send a memo. Even if you practice perfect video conferencing etiquette, your entire team's experience could still hinge on one disruptive participant. If possible, deliver guidelines on how you expect your video conferences to go. Consider printing out this article or create a checklist of your own and distribute it to your entire team.
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