To make your video conferences better and more effective, check the following 5 simple, but effective best practices.
Look at the Camera
Eye contact is highly important. It allows you to convey your emotional state, intentions, such as whether you want to take the floor, and so on. Eye contact is especially meaningful when you don’t share the same physical location.
However, during a regular meeting, people can sit side by side or opposite each other, which allows for eye contact to occur naturally. Video conferences are much trickier in that regard.
It doesn’t matter which platform you choose: staring at the monitor may simply look weird to other conference participants. To achieve a full visual presence, it’s best to look into the camera.
Of course, the silliest thing you can do during a video conference is staring at yourself, twisting your head, and trying to re-adjust hair or make-up.
Introduce Yourself and Others
Simple gestures help relieve awkwardness.
“It’s crucial to introduce others,” says the etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, “it’s not enough to say: this is Sue, Jim, Dan, they are here to speak. This is not the best way to start a video meeting.”
To facilitate mutual understanding, people need to hear the tone of voice and look at each other. If you establish your presence in such an informal way before jumping into a discussion, everything you say will be perceived as more natural by participants.
Get Rid of Distractions
To get started, make it a habit to mute your microphone every time you don’t use it. This will significantly reduce extraneous noise, which can turn any call into a vocal disaster.
You definitely don’t want your phone to ring in the middle of your boss’s important announcement. However, even seemingly innocuous sounds like keyboard typing or a message ping can become a serious issue if your mic is really sensitive.
No matter how boring the video conference is, try not to get distracted. Every time you look away from the camera for a long time, everybody knows that you must be checking Instagram or other social networks. This shows that you don’t care about the video conference.
Do Not Interrupt
You may assume that a video conference allows 10 participants to talk at the same time. However, this is not really the case.
An ideal conversation involves no more than four people. Add 10 to the mix, and you no longer have a conversation – you have the audience! This means that, first of all, you need someone to keep order and, second of all, you must stick to a clear agenda.
It’s worth noting that people interrupt each other less during a video conference than during a regular phone call since they can actually see each other.
It does sound strange in the age of omnipresent internet access. However, every time you are about to start an important video conference, make sure to check the quality of connection first.
Special test such as MyOwnConference test can help you with that. The minimum internet speed should be no less than 1.2 Mbps.
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