Technology has become the way of the future, and gone are the days of stuffy conference rooms. With this simplification to virtual office spaces, it has taken our meetings and conferences to a whole new format.
Video Conferencing 101
As virtual assistants and business professionals in this modern age, we are going to use a video conferencing system at least once in our career. This raises the question: “How can I become a rockstar at video conferencing?”
Make sure that when you sit down to join the video conference you have your key points, a notepad, a pen and any other essentials already laid out and well-organized. This eliminates unnecessary time spent trying to find your thoughts or items needed to keep the meeting running smoothly and effortlessly.
Just as you wouldn’t show up at a business meeting with your boss in your pajamas, the same is true for a video conference. Make sure you have dressed appropriately for the meeting, keeping the camera in mind. Even though a neon striped shirt may look fun, on camera it may not show up well.
Stay Engaged! Maintain Eye Contact, and Put Away That Phone
It may be so easy to get distracted by texting a friend, checking in on another work project or watching the latest videos. However, just like in a workplace conference room you wouldn’t stop paying attention to tackle something else the same is true behind your computer screen. Pay attention, take notes and take advantage of the opportunity to work face to face with your colleagues.
Lighting, Background and Sound Quality Matter
When it comes to lighting we don’t want to appear as a shadow but it can also be a distraction to have light glaring in from a window behind us. For best lighting face a window for a natural light that isn’t too harsh; another option is to place a lamp beside you. Make sure your background is free from clutter, the laundry that hasn’t been folded in weeks or any children and pets. Again we always want to be professional. Always run a sound check before every meeting to make sure you can be heard clearly, without any background noise. If you need to have a video conference at a co-working place, such as Starbucks, bring a headset (noise cancelling is even better).
Keep it Concise and Use Visuals
We all have busy days with a lot to balance, we want to be respectful of everyone’s time by keeping the meeting short and sweet. This can be accomplished by sticking to main points and keeping everything interesting. A great way of capturing the interest of the group is by using visual. Perhaps you can prepare a slideshow, or use a whiteboard to highlight main points.
Remember Recording Etiquette
If a recording is to be made, be sure that you tell everyone in the meeting so that they can have time to adjust and be ready. This keeps people on task and engaged. Another benefit of recording the meeting is that anyone who was unable to attend will be able to watch and capture any big items that may have otherwise been missed. At the close of the meeting offer access to the recording for anyone in attendance.
Trust me, we all get nervous when it comes to important work meetings. Be professional but don't lose your personality. Keep in mind that video conferences are oftentimes used for keeping up to date just like a phone call, a text message or walking to your co-workers desk. Wear a smile, offer a laugh, be kind, be YOU!
By following these seven tips to video conferencing, you will be successful at attending and hosting any video conference. If you can take only one thing from this, just remember if you wouldn’t do it in person, don't do it in a video conference either. Now get out there and be a rockstar!