Video meetings are getting more and more popular for their convenience and ease. However, despite the fact that video meetings are a slight evolution on the long-run human practice of face-to-face conversation, people struggle with making the most of the new technology. Here are five of the best practices for having a quality video meeting.
1. Send an agenda in advance
This may seem like pointless busywork, but making an agenda is actually the most important step in having a productive conversation. First of all, making an agenda is great for those attending since it lets them know what to prepare for, why they were invited, and that the video meeting is important. If no agenda is sent, the person or people you invite will not think it is a serious meeting nor will know the point of attending it.
Furthermore, making an agenda is super helpful for you since you will narrow down exactly what to talk about during the limited time of the meeting, and will be less likely to bring up unrelated topics like the latest movies (speaking of which, how about A Star Is Born? Bradley Cooper does it again!). Now, if you were invited into a video meeting, you should read whatever agenda was sent over with the invitation. If the invitee did not create one, ask for one with an email. If they still refuse to send one, create your own agenda, send it to everyone involved, and commence your group betting on who will win the Academy Awards.
2. Prepare your set and self beforehand
Look, you can wear underwear or sweatpants to a video meeting, but you absolutely need to make your upper half look professional before getting on camera. To make sure you're ready for showtime, please:
- brush your hair
- brush your teeth
- wear a nice pattern-less shirt since striped and plaid shirts can distract
You also need to find a good physical location to call in from. Here is a checklist of what to keep in mind when finding that spot.
- have lots of natural light
- be able to face the light without getting blinded
- have no distractions in the background like coworkers playing pranks
- not have any tape covering your camera
Be sure to do this all well in advance of the meeting so that if there are any delays in getting the meeting started, they are not because you forgot to put on a shirt.
3. Use a microphone for all video meetings
This could have been part of the last point, but this is worth emphasizing. Since computers nowadays all feature a built-in camera, the vital piece of equipment you need to search out is a microphone. Now, I am not telling you to go out and splurge on a $400 microphone. After a certain price point, around $40 or so, any gains in sound quality for a microphone are negligible. It is far more important to have any microphone than to have an expensive one. Even a mic-on-headphones setup works perfectly well for the two big tasks microphones have: drowning out background noises (no one wants to hear your roommate cooking omelets!), and making your voice clearer (so they can hear you make jokes about your roommate’s cooking habits).
4. Stay focused
A video meeting is like any other social interaction. Sure, when you usually meet with other people, you are in the same room as them physically, and when you are videochatting you are not. But the same general rules of socializing apply during video meetings. Show to the other people in the call that you are present. This means keeping your eyes on your camera, and I am not talking about your smartphone’s camera. Pretend that your webcam is your friend’s eyes—your cyclops friend’s eyes—and follow the 60% eye contact rule; keep eye contact with the camera 60% of the time. The other 40% of the time, you are allowed to look away, but not at your phone!
5. Wait before speaking
This is an important conversational habit for in-person meetings, but all the more crucial when videochatting over internet connection. At the risk of making it look like your feed froze, give an extra two or three seconds before chiming in. This will prevent you from talking over others, but, more importantly, will also prevent others from talking over you. Combining this with your sharp focus, you will be well-respected by the other members of the meeting for your listening skills, and the extra time spent waiting will let you think of the perfect bon mot for the conversation.
Video meetings will continue to grow in popularity for business use. No matter what platform they take place on, you can follow these five simple best practices to have productive video meetings with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Of course, your meetings can get an immediate boost in productivity when you switch to using Vectera for business. Its cloud recording feature and ease of use makes Vectera a great choice for any business meeting. Find out why at www.vectera.com.
We hope the quality of your video meetings will improve after reading this blog post!
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