More and more, businesses have a growing number of employees and customers from around the world which is leading to the increased use of video conferencing. Video conferencing is not only making communications channels easier for businesses but it also saving time and money.
Video conferencing is the next best thing to meeting someone in person and allows participants to see facial expressions, body language and product demonstrations. Video conferencing is quickly becoming a business standard and is an integral part of business communications today.
Even-though you are no longer meeting face-to-face does not mean that it is slacker time. Normal meeting etiquette needs to he adhered to in addition to some additional courtesies.
Here are some of the best practices and etiquette tips you should observe during conference calls:
Test and make sure your systems work – It is important to test and make sure that all conferencing systems function and work properly prior to the meeting. This could mean the downloading of software or app, and making sure that it runs smoothly on your device, browser and operating system.
Stage your room – Make sure that the room you are holding the conference is tidy and that no inappropriate displays or items are visible. If you work from home, don’t hold a conference call from your bed.
Introduce yourself – If you in a group call without video, it is important to introduce yourself before you talk so that others know who is talking.
Check your audio – Not only is your image quality important, make sure that you have good audio quality. For best audio quality, it is best to use headset to minimize broadcasting ambient noises.
Video setting – Make sure to test and adjust any video setting for best quality. Make sure that your camera is not too low or too high. The camera should be at eye level.
Dress for the office – It is best to wear conservative colors and styles given that others have to view you on a screen. Remember that everything is bigger and bolder on video. Dress as if you are going to a job interview.
Provide the correct details – Make sure that you provide all conference participants simple, clear and correct details and instructions before the meeting and request that each participants set up and test their equipment.
Do not multitask – Never check or reply to your email messages. There is nothing worse than hearing someone typing during a video conference. Not only is this impolite and unprofessional, it also disturbs the conference call hearing your fingers tapping away at the keyboard. Remember that
Adequate lighting – Natural light is best for video conferencing but a well-place light can do the trick. Avoid backlighting such as a window or lamp behind you.
Stay focused – Since you are on camera, it is sometimes easier to let your focus wander given that you are not face-to-face. Think of yourself as being a news presenter with the whole world watching everything you do and say. Turn off your cellphone and never place it on the table.
Keep noises to minimum – Extraneous noise can impact the call quality as well as distract those participating. Close all doors and if you are working from home, make sure that everyone in your household knows that you are on a conference call and should not disturb you, especially if you have children running around.
Take note of your presentation skills – When it is your turn to speak, make sure that you speak with a clear voice and always look into the camera rather than looking at yourself on the screen in the little window. Think of the camera as your coworker and maintain eye contact at all times and be aware of your body language.
Mute your microphone – When you are not speaking, it is best to mute your microphone even if you are alone in the room to avoid any background noise and distractions.