Tips for a successful video conference

Video conferences are an important form of communication in modern business. You therefore need to know how to conduct them successfully. Here we offer some tips to ensure your video conferences run smoothly.

Do a warm up

A 15-minute warm up the day before your meeting can make all the difference. It helps you get to know your device’s audio and video settings, not to mention giving you time to download and install all the necessary software.

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You don’t want to be doing these checks five minutes before the meeting is due to start, no matter how tech-savvy you are. It’s also a chance to check the strength and speed of your broadband connection.

After all, there’s nothing worse than holding everyone else up because you can’t connect, hear or be heard.

Find the perfect position for your equipment

You need to take into account the positioning of your camera, microphone and seating ahead of a video conference.

Preview your image and test the sound to make sure you can see and hear yourself clearly. Do not point the camera directly at a light source like a window or lamp, as this can distort the quality of the picture.

You don’t want to be sitting too far away or too close, so take the time to find a happy medium between the two. You also need to think carefully about the height of the seat. Ideally the camera should be at eye level.

Pay attention

Much like in face-to-face conversations, eye contact and body language are important in video conferences.

You must keep your eyes on the screen and yourself in the frame throughout; otherwise you could be giving the wrong impression. Multitasking is a big no-no, unless you’re taking notes or giving a presentation.

Video conferences are just like regular meetings, so the speaker should always have your undivided attention. Avoid looking at yourself on the screen!

Mute your microphone

Background noise can be an annoying distraction and stifle the flow of a meeting, so make use of the mute feature.

You should mute your microphone whenever you’re not speaking, even if you’re the only person in the room. This way you won’t unintentionally anger other participants by interrupting them when they’re talking.

The same goes for when the video conference is over. Mute your microphone, then hang up, log out and close all conferencing applications. Doing so helps you avoid embarrassing situations, like saying something regretful.

Just remember to unmute your microphone when it’s your turn to speak!

Have a back-up plan

&M 20 Jan 2If something goes wrong during the meeting, you’ll need a plan B to get it back on track as quickly as possible.

Having a second internet connection is advisable, just in case the one you’re using decides to give up the ghost. Remember to make a note of the passwords for both connections as well, should you have to reconnect at any point.

You should also have spare cameras and microphones in reserve to replace the originals if they develop a fault.

Getting everyone in the same room can be difficult, that’s why businesses frequently use video conferences. You therefore don’t want to be caught off guard if a technological hitch rears its ugly head.

Posted by Ashleigh Sharp

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