Learn the best tips and strategies for video conferencing. A perfect video call means no interruptions, and everyone tuned in operating on the same page.
As more companies are hiring remote workers and businesses begin to market globally, video conferencing has become increasingly popular. About 1.8 million young workers use video conferencing software in their interviewing process, with Zoom consisting of 44% of that number, Microsoft at 23%, and Skype taking 20%. The world is transitioning to video conferencing for all types of activities. Online schooling is adopting video conferencing to teach students. Businesses can better communicate with other partners or offices from different regions. Hospitals and pharmaceutical companies use video conferencing for telemedicine for specialized treatment, or medical advice is given remotely. It’s safe to say, the entire world is benefiting from video conferencing.
10 Tips for the Perfect Video Call
1. Have Stable Internet
The most crucial aspect of ensuring a video call runs smoothly is the internet connection. To successfully run a video conferencing call without interruptions or lag time, it’s best to have fast internet connectivity. Slow internet connections lead to inconsistent audio and visual disruptions. Nothing is worse than dropping in and out of the call or hearing the audio 3 seconds behind. For those of you using a laptop, you can use a LAN cable to guarantee a stable connection. If you do opt for a wireless connection, choose one with secure connectivity, password protection, and advanced encryption.
2. Use a Reliable Video Conferencing Software
Use reliable video conferencing software such as GoGuardian, UberConference, and Zoom to conduct your virtual meetings. These applications are able to handle quite a large sum of participants. Zoom can handle a total of 100 participants on their standard plans and up to 500 with a Large Meeting add-on feature. Remember to download the latest version of the software, and it’s compatible with all of the standard operating systems like OS, Windows, Android, and Chromebook.
3. Dress Professionally
A video conference should be like an interview. Making a good impression shows that you are serious about the call and your work. Even if you’re at home, try to put a professional shirt on even if you’re wearing fuzzy pajamas on the bottom. If you’re speaking with professionals outside of your company, you need to represent your company well by dressing professionally as you would in person.
4. Send Out the Agenda Before the Video Call
In the pre-meeting phase, it’s imperative to send out an agenda and meeting invitation to all parties. This helps the guests to prepare and understand why they need to jump on the call. Creating an agenda allows everyone to stay on topic and discuss relevant talking points to stay productive in a virtual meeting. Many meetings run over time because of the lack of preparation.
5. Remove Distractions
It’s the duty of the moderator to ensure all distractions are removed. Just like it’s rude to be on your phone while talking to someone, it’s also disingenuous to have a mobile device on during a video conferencing call. Cell phones should be kept in silent mode to avoid disruptions and prevent lack of focus.
6. Set Ground Rules
Make sure to set ground rules on how the meeting will be run. For example, you should not allow participants to speak at the same time. It makes it harder for everyone else to hear when two or more people speak at once. Another ground rule is having your guests mute themselves if they are not speaking or raise their hand when they have a question.
7. Check for Technical Difficulties Prior to Meeting
Technical difficulties can be extremely frustrating. These tech problems demonstrate that the coordinator of the call didn’t plan in advance. Ideally, arrive a few minutes before the call to check if everything is running smoothly. You might need to update your computer, install a software, or fix a mic problem. This is especially important if you’re new to the video conferencing software. Have a backup communication plan in place, in the event that you have difficulty connecting with any participants. A backup plan may consist of connecting through audio only such as a mobile device or doing an online collaboration such as Google Docs.
8. Have a Meeting Facilitator
A meeting facilitator helps to ensure that the video call runs as planned. A meeting facilitator has the following responsibilities:
- Check that all members of the call can hear and see each other
- Establishes the rules such as raising their hand or typing in the chat box
- Monitors the chat box to help the leader of the call
- Provide the agenda to participates, so that members stay on track and productive during the call
A moderator should try to include all participants in the call. Often time video calls are between people in multiple locations. Some may be in a room, while others might be working remotely. It’s important to ask all members for their perspective, especially the members that haven’t spoken yet. Encourage guests to ask questions at the end to avoid frequent disruptions. Oftentimes, the speaker will answer the participant’s question later in the presentation.
9. Mute Yourself When It’s Not Your Turn to Speak
The facilitator or leader of the call should mute everyone who isn’t speaking. This helps to eliminate all background noises from each caller. If they’re were 10 callers in a conference, it would be impossible to pay attention to a speaker when there are pinging background sounds bouncing around.
10. Have Proper Lighting
Make sure to look your best by not having lighting behind you such as from a window or overhead. The ideal scenario is to have a light facing you such as a TV, so your face shows up clearly on their end.