Video conference calls are quickly becoming an essential tool in the way many small and large business are hosting their meetings. They work really well when time and cost are factors in getting people together. Even though this technology can be quite convenient, it still requires some prior preparation if you want to host a video conference call without a hitch.
Here are 7 great tips to ensure you have a well planned video conference call.
Location, Location, Location
Try holding your calls in a place that is quiet and where you won’t be interrupted. If you are in an office, try a door hanger or note that states ” Do not disturb on video call”. If you are at home, try to set the call time when you are least likely to be interrupted. If your traveling, try having a headset handy to reduce any background noise. Also many public libraries offer study rooms with free WiFi. I have found this option works really well in a pinch.
Turn your cell phone to silent.
There is nothing more embarrassing than having your cell phone go off during a video call with a client or even your team. Learn how to turn all sounds off, not just the ringer since many of today’s smartphones will allow you to turn off the ringer without turning off email and social media alerts. This includes turning off the vibrate option. This way you can place your phone on the surface next to you and still be able to see the alerts or incoming calls without audible distraction. But, unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid checking your alerts and messages until after your video conference is concluded.
Send important files prior to calling
When you’re meeting in person you’re likely to have hand-outs, and there’s no reason it has be any different for a video business meeting. Send handouts and documents in plenty time before your call so your audience can print them if they so choose. Also keep in mind that sometimes if something can go wrong, it will. So by sending your handouts in advance, you can keep going by reading from the presentation. ” Clients love people who are prepared.”
Adjusting your camera angles
If you’re making a group business video call using just one camera you’ll, need to ensure that everyone who needs to be on camera will be. When doing the presentation alone on cam, ensure there are no distractions going on behind you. Try and have a truly boring backdrop so that your viewers are focused on you and not the background. Also check your web cam before calling to avoid any troubling technical hitches.
Nominate a speaker
For a group call, you’ll always want to make sure you have nominated someone to lead any business meeting, especially when you’re making a video call. Make sure there is someone ready to do the introduction, deal with any technical issues and to lead the discussion before you dial-in, that way you won’t have everyone talking over each other all at once.
Check your sitting position
Your body language is really important and will be all too noticeable to all members of the meeting. Don’t be tempted to feel as though you can slouch or relax just because you’re not in the same physical space as your colleagues and clients – they’ll be able to see your every move. And if they don’t like what they see, it could mean your meeting won’t go so well.
It can be tempting to lighten the mood and share an in-joke with your colleagues, but when you’re on a business call you should be careful to make sure no one feels excluded. Don’t turn away from the camera to make jokes with the person sitting next to you. Share an appropriate joke with your screen too and you’re far more likely to enjoy a successful meeting. But to be on the safe side, try to avoid off the cuff remarks because sometimes these can backfire.
I hope you find these tips helpful, and I would love to hear some of your tips for avoiding the video call pitfalls.
+Anderson Curry is publisher of Digital Life CEO and Managing Partner at ECS Media Interactive, an Internet marketing agency. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the technology and marketing industries. He regularly writes and speaks on brand development, social media, technology, and the emergence of the new digital CEO.