Video conferencing – how to do it right?

non verbal communication

Video conferencing is one of the most effective and valuable communication tools for remote working. Users from multiple locations can interact with each other in a way that is most similar to an in-person meeting.

To conduct a successful video meeting, certain rules should be followed: We have already written about “Dos and dont’s of effective web conferencing” While some of those tips are also pertinent for video conferencing, video calls require extra etiquette guidelines. Follow our guide to learn how to conduct an effective remote meeting via video conference.

1. Preparing the video call

Being prepared for any meeting (in-person or online) is essential for its success.

meeting preparation

1.1 Select a video conferencing tool

There are various videoconferencing solutions on the market. Choosing the right one depends on the specific communication needs of your business. However, it has to be user-friendly, easy to navigate during the conversation, and compatible with most devices’ OS (operation system). The ease of use is one of the most important features of the ideal video conferencing tool. Considering that you won’t always know what the technical knowledge of the other people taking part in the video meeting is, you should choose a solution that:

• doesn’t require complex software downloads or installation,
• is optimized for mobile
• can invite participants via a sharable link
• can be accessed fast and easily by everyone

Start a free video conference now from any location and any device.

1. 2 Checking your internet connection

You need a stable internet connection to communicate well with your colleagues, partners, or clients via a video call. High-speed connectivity ensures that audio and video are well synchronized, guaranteeing a smooth conversation without visual disruptions or audio inconsistency.

1.3 Testing your microphone, camera, and screen sharing options

Running a few tests before a business video conference (with a friend or co-worker) is necessary. Make sure you understand how the technology works and check your equipment:

• Mute and unmute the microphone to make a soundcheck
• Figure out what is the best placement for your video camera

It shouldn’t be positioned too low or too high but at eye level. Leave enough distance between you and the camera so that your upper body can be seen. The participants can read your body language – like hand gestures or posture.

• Try screen sharing options – clean your desktop

We kindly advise you to test it several times before the video meeting. Do not forget to clear your desktop so that personal or sensitive information is not visible to your conference partners.

1.4. Sending meeting invitation and agenda

The meeting invitation and agenda with all the necessary information and documents should be sent several days before the video conference. The participants need enough time to get acquainted with the information to be prepared for the meeting. This ensures that communication and collaboration will run smoothly during the video conference.

2. Work environment preparation

2.1 Organising your Workspace

Finding a quiet place

a) At the office
Being in a meeting room with a professional conference phone with built-in noise-proof technology ensures excellent audio and video quality. Make sure to book it in advance. Otherwise, it is best to isolate yourself. If this is not possible, advise your nearest colleagues of the time and date of your video conference to minimize background noise (discussion, music, …) and interruptions.

b) In a public place
If you are connecting from a public place (ex: a coffee shop or an airport), it is highly recommended to use headphones to eliminate background noise and be able to hear other participants. Try avoiding busy hours.

c) At home
At the home office, choose a quiet room where children, roommates, family members, or pets cannot interfere during your meeting. Advise them that you are in a business meeting and should not be disturbed.

Pay attention to your background.

Set your device camera keeping in mind that your conference partners will see your background. Make sure it is:

• work-appropriate
• clean
• without distracting objects
• properly lit

Some solutions on the market offer to blur your background. Make sure to test it several times before your video conference.

2.2 Having the right lighting

It is important to pay sufficient attention to the lighting during a video call to show professionalism:
• Have enough natural light in the room
• Avoid mixing natural and artificial light
• The light upon your face should come from the side for a better rendering
• Once you turn on your camera, make sure your face is not in the dark

3. Professional behavior during a video meeting

3.1 Pay attention to your appearance

The home office dress code is often associated with sweatshirts, training suits, and pajamas. Taking part in a video conference means you should dress appropriately from home. A fresh, clean, and reasonably good appearance is the bare minimum. A good rule to follow is to avoid extreme color patterns or stripes, which may cause distraction during the video call. Do not forget your body posture – it should be natural but upright and focused.

3.2 Keep your preview window open

Opening your preview window during the video call will remind you to smile, relax, and act naturally. You have probably mastered your on-camera behavior if you are an experienced video caller. But for beginners, it is important to observe themselves during the meeting. See it as a mirror that lets you know how other participants see you during the meeting. When speaking, look at your camera… not your screen. This makes viewers feel you connect and interact with them, making them more engaged. Looking at the screen is not an issue when someone else is talking.

3.3 Speaking one at a time and being patient

Being in a video call creates a different approach when you want to speak compared to in-person meetings. Wait a few seconds to determine if there is a sound delay before proceeding. You may also signal with a gesture that you want to speak.

Do not cut somebody off – Communicating that way will be counterproductive and very frustrating. According to a report by State of Remote Work 2019, the two major problems during video meetings are interruptions and being talked over. Usually, it is part of your host’s job to manage the virtual discussion properly – appointing one person to speak at a time.

In case you are hosting a video call – State your rules when all the participants have joined the video conference. Another useful suggestion is to have a Q&A session at the end of the meeting where everybody can participate in a certain order. This should also be mentioned at the beginning of the video call.

3.4 Mute your microphone

Background noise can be very distracting during video meetings. Make sure your microphone is muted when you are not speaking. Switching your volume on and off rapidly is vital to guarantee your prompt reply.

3.5 Pay attention to the video discussion

You should be attentive, focused, and respectful during the video conference as in a real in-person business meeting. Do not try to multitask – like sending emails, reading articles, or communicating with someone else. You are in a video meeting, and your body language says everything. If you need to look at some files related to the discussion, you can do it, but please let the rest of the group know. Create an instant video conference room for a successful remote meeting!

4. The golden rule

Being punctual (if you host the meeting) and prepared if you are a participant are the golden rules of conference calls and video meetings. Late arrival will disrupt the meeting flow simply due to background noises or apologies. Plan your next productive video meeting with the Mixvoip video conferencing solution.

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