Did you know, 68% of global employees work from home at least once per month? With more and more meetings occurring remotely around the world, video conferencing has played a larger role in our work lives.
But, video conferencing comes with challenges. It can be difficult to interpret conversational cues via video and can be disruptive if your audio cuts out.
It's up to us, and our technology, to make video conferences a success. Here are some video conferencing tips to help you become a pro in no time!
The same rule goes for an online meeting as an in-person one. Video conferences often take longer to get started. Before a meeting can begin, it's common to run through an AV checklist to make sure your video conferencing set up is ready.
Advanced preparation will save you plenty of time and energy. Know what room you’ll be meeting in, who will be in attendance, and everything else you’d do in a normal face-to-face get together.
Appoint a meeting facilitator or leader to move things along and guide the conversation. Video conferences can make it tricky for people to participate in the conversation. This is especially true for remote workers. Select a designated person to guide the meeting and prevent any headaches for those in attendance. Check in with your team members about their responsibilities beforehand to help move things along smoothly.
Be mindful of team members in different time zones. No one likes getting up for a 5:00 AM meeting. A time zone converter is a helpful tool for these scenarios. It displays concurrent times for any input location to determine mutual meeting times.
For those who can't attend a meeting in another time zone, record your meeting and send it to them. They’ll stay up to speed, without having to be awake at an odd hour. And for reoccurring meetings between multiple time zones, rotate which teams have less-than-ideal times.
Sometimes, our meetings don’t go as planned. Your room is booked, you can’t get the TV to turn on, or an emergency meeting needs to take place. Not to fear! Come to your video conference with a plan to fix technical issues quickly. And have a secondary date and time for the conference to take place if something doesn’t work out.
When it comes to setting up a video conference, your video conferencing technology will help you shine! From your video conferencing cameras to your screens and microphones, you should know what you have and how to use it.
The key to nailing your conference comes from your video provider. Choose a video conferencing provider that suits the needs of your team and company. This allows you to get everyone on the same page, while still keeping your bottom line solid. But, which video conferencing tools should you choose? Think about what your team needs in their meetings, and the features you require as a business.
Location, location, location! This old saying still applies to today’s “work from anywhere” culture. Although you may feel inclined to host from the comfort of your couch, this won't inspire your peak performance. You’re better off working in a bright, quiet space with a good internet connection. Calling from a crowded coffee shop can seriously annoy those in your video conference. And you could risk an expensive spill onto your laptop.
If you’re in an office, find a distraction-free, huddle space or meeting room where you can show off your ideas (and not your coworkers sitting behind you).
We all know to keep our meetings short and sweet. Sometimes, video makes that a bit confusing. When team members aren't in the same room, a long meeting can quickly make everyone tune out.
To avoid some awkward pauses and “what was that again?” moments, it’s best to cover only what is necessary for the immediate needs of the video conference. Reserve anything that veers conversation from the meeting agenda for post-meeting. Either schedule additional time to meet or answer a question with a quick Slack message.
The best video conferences are the ones where everyone is involved and feels important. If you have team members who are joining others in a conference for the first time, have a quick introduction session. Be sure to break out those fun facts about yourself! This gets everyone on the same page, starts the meeting off on a good note, and makes all participants feel included.
At the beginning and end of your video conference, focus on the people in your conference and less about the content. Start your conference with an introduction of who is in attendance. This lets team members know who did what on the project. End the video conference with a summary of each person’s responsibilities and next steps. This clears any confusion about what needs to get done before the next meeting.
Microphone technology has advanced rapidly, so there’s no need to shout when you’re in a video conference. Speak in a normal voice to ensure a natural conversation. Make sure to turn off your microphone when others are speaking to minimize any distractions. This prevents any voice echoing in your call. Avoid moving papers around or accidentally tapping your microphone as well.
Confidence is key for any meeting, especially one with video. Video conferencing is a powerful solution, and things can get a little intimidating. But don’t worry, you got this! Speak in a confident, clear voice -- when you speak confidently, you'll communicate clearly and build trust with the folks in the room and outside of it. You’ll look like a pro, work more effectively, and set your team up for future remote success!
Looking for more? Learn how to set up and host your first Zoom webinar next.