This pandemic has caused many businesses to make changes to how they conduct business. Out of the many changes that businesses have had to do, one such shift is the use of conference calls. Even before all of this occurred, video conferences were quite popular with 80% of executives saying these conferences are replacing audio conferences as the go-to method for internal communications.
Paired up with the fact that so many people right now have to work remotely, this is a tool that is vital to any kind of business. That said, video conferences add another layer of expectations and demands from other people.
So to help you stay on top of conference use and making more successful conference calls, here are some tips to consider.
Be On Time
I know this can seem like an obvious one. From physical meetings to appointments, you want to be showing up on time or early. However, some of you may be more relaxed when it comes to conference calls. After all, you don’t have to physically move from your desk. Hopping onto to the call is as simple as clicking on a few buttons right?
Not quite. While in physical meetings you can sneak in without many people noticing, you can’t do that with video conferences. Your screen will pop up in the middle of the meeting and can cause disruptions.
Furthermore, if you require setting up or getting comfortable, you can be making a lot of noise in the middle of the meeting and cause disruptions too.
Mute When You’re Not Talking
On the note of making noise, it’s also smart that you mute yourself when you are not talking. Internal microphones are powerful pieces of tech and can pick up even minor background noises. Things like coughs, sneezes, and typing can be picked up and can cause disruptions. Or it could be annoying as well.
Make Sure Everything Is Set Up Prior To Meetings
With many people leveraging conference and video calls these days, some platforms may not work as well during certain times. A few hours before the meeting is meant to start, make a point of testing out video conference equipment. You can’t have a successful conference call if the software isn’t working or is running into issues.
This also extends to other equipment that you may be using as well. By testing in advance you avoid the risk of having to rush preparations during the meeting or a few minutes before it. Also for the testing, ask someone in your team to help you with testing.
Use Technology To Keep People Engaged
From a 2019 State of Remote Work report it was discovered that interruptions and being talked over were the two biggest challenges that remote and on-site workers struggled with. From this report, many video conference softwares have tried to mitigate these issues by highlighting the screen of the active speaker.
There aren’t many other methods out there but at the very least, you want to make sure that your go-to video conference platform has some use of technology to keep people engaged and focused on the conversation.
Have An Easy To Use Software For Calls
On top of video conference calls having ways to keep people engaged, you want the software to be easy to use as well. Some of the major platforms like Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Whereby all have easy to use functions that require no learning curve to use. So you won’t have to worry about this so much if you’re using one of those platforms.
This applies more to those who want to see what other platforms are out there as there are several video conference call softwares available.
Wear Work-Appropriate Clothing
Working from home has its perks in that you can wear just about anything and you won’t have anyone complain about your choice of clothing. That being said, your clothing choice could reflect poorly when you’re doing video calls.
I’m not saying you need to go all out and wear a three-piece suit. But at the very least you should be wearing clothing that you’d normally wear when attending face-to-face meetings. Even if for the entire meeting people are only seeing the upper part of your body.
Look At The Camera
This another thing that makes sense, but you’d be surprised how often people mess this up. One of the most common mistakes is that people tend to look at the video feed instead of the camera when speaking to someone.
What this does is it makes people think you’re not paying attention since your eyes are going to be looking slightly lower at the person’s face. Think of it as when you’re looking at the video feed, it’s as if you are looking at someone’s neck in a face-to-face meeting instead of their eyes.
Frame The Camera Correctly
What I mean is angle the camera so that it’s at eye level. Ensuring the camera is in the right position is everything. It’s the difference between having a more successful conference call and having people look up your nostrils the entire time or seeing the side of your face.
When you are on video, make sure you are standing in frame with your camera. Make sure that the camera is at eye level when you’re sitting down. Placing it too high causes people to stare down at you while if it’s too low it causes awkward angles.
Get Proper Lighting
Similar to recording videos, camera is important, but so is lighting. If you have poor lighting conditions it has a big impact on the quality of your video. Even though video conference calls are necessary, you still want to make sure that the video is engaging and that people will want to watch it.
With this in mind, you need to make sure that there is proper lighting so the video feed on your end doesn’t come off as grainy or unwatchable. Depending on the time of the day of the call, make sure that there is natural light in the area you are sitting in. If you need other lighting, you can always use lamps or room light.
Also note that the position of the light is key too. Make a point of having light reflecting on the sides of your face rather than the front or back.
The last tip for successful conference calls is to listen. Just because you’re in a conference call at home doesn’t mean that you can treat it as background noise and work on other things behind the scenes.
Remember that if you’re doing video conferences people can see what you’re doing. It’s rude if you’re working on other things unless it’s relevant to the meeting itself (like you’re typing up the meeting minutes).
Do yourself a favour and focus on the meeting at hand. As much as we like to think of ourselves as amazing multitaskers, only 3% of the world can do this effectively and chances are very high you’re not part of that 3%.
Have More Successful Conference Calls
Over the years, we have experienced bad video-conference meetings. The upside is that video conference technology has been developed and improved beyond it. These days it’s easy for us to put these together. All that you have to do is follow these tips.