Video conferencing is becoming a standard way to meet, be it a one to one, a group discussion, collaboration.
The business benefits are clear, reduced travel costs, increased productivity across your teams and customers, better communication, reinforced relationships and faster knowledge sharing to name a few.
But how should you conduct yourself when you are videoconferencing to make sure you are maximising those benefits. These top tips will help make you the best and most productive videoconferencer out there.
9 things you should be doing:
Put down the food
People don't look particularly great eating in photos or on video. Just think, do you truly tuck in during a lunchtime meeting? There is always that awkward food eating manner people adopt, so that that they can talk when required.
Eradicate technical difficulties
Computer issues are one of the most common blunders relating to video conferencing. Join the call early to avoid these issues and furthermore, if it is a really important broadcast test the connection with a colleague hours or the day before.
Maintain eye contact
This is a difficult one for most people. Do you gaze at the images of people or do you stare blankly into the camera? As a practical measure it is good to maintain focus on your colleagues as they speak and look into the camera when you speak. Try and keep the image of your colleagues near to the camera to have a minimum eye movement when you switch your line of sight.
Let people know you are on a video call
There is nothing worse than being interrupted if you are videoconferencing from your desk. Better still book a meeting room or a meeting room with a VC unit, for a much better all round and professional experience. You don’t usually hold a meeting at your desk do you?- Oh and make sure you haven’t got a terrible background if you are working remotely. Nobody wants to see your clothes hanging up in the background or that rather eclectic piece of art on the wall. Perhaps use a pop up banner? I have a colleague that even got a low cost backdrop made, using the companies branding.
Get everyone involved
If you are on a call in multiple locations and have different sized attendances at each in can be difficult for the individual or smaller group to get involved, so have the meeting chair give all parties the opportunity to say their bit. Quite often it is the quiet ones that have been digesting all that information that have some great ideas given the chance to express them.
No typing please, it’s so loud
Clicking keys when talking is a no, no, especially when amplified by a mic. It also looks like you are not paying attention, though I think this view is changing. Use a pen and paper if you need to take notes or if you are an android user use SwiftKey. Just swipe your notes. No tapping and it might just change the way to write things on mobile devices for life.
Always be professional
Just because you had the luxury of walking down to fix your breakfast, make your favourite coffee and play your favourite tunes, because you are working at home. Remember you are working. Pet’s, children, strangers, wearing a dressing gown or pyjamas are all a no. If you wouldn’t do it in a meeting at work, don’t do it in a meeting from your home on video conference. If you don’t want to lose the shorts, don’t. But do put on a crisp shirt.
If you need to leave the room for a toilet break or water just let someone know. If you don’t want to stop the conversation just politely message, the organiser stating you will be back in 5 minutes. That way when you are back in two, nobody will really notice the difference, rather than you not being there anymore.
Apart from just being rude, because your eyes are drifting or your fingers typing and your mouse hand swaying. Being distracted can be picked up on certain software. It will measure if you are typing, if the screen has been minimised or if your mouse is moving and this will reduce your engagement score. Now ask yourself do you want to be known as the one that wasn’t paying attention?