For those new to video meetings it can take some getting used to at first. Even though we watch endless media streams in our personal lives, not everyone is totally comfortable on camera. Here’s the good news — you get used to it very quickly. All the same basic in-person rules apply to the video conference: sit up straight, speak confidently, give people eye contact when they’re talking.
The benefit of video meetings
as opposed to audio-only meetings, is that nothing gets lost in translation. People can clearly see and hear each other in real time with zero audio or video latency. That means pay attention! Your colleagues can tell when your focus drifts elsewhere so treat video conferences like you’re meeting face to face.
Utilize Natural Light
While in some scenarios artificial light may be necessary, always try and frame your camera with natural sunlight on your face. This is a balancing act, however — too much natural light can make your face appear overly bright. The best option for video conferencing in a home office or a public space is to position yourself with equal amounts of sun coming through the windows. On especially bright days, adjust the blinds until you’ve found the right lighting. Lastly, avoid natural light as a backdrop. This will make your video appear like there’s a large shadow over your face.
Ensure the Best Audio Clarity
The number one productivity killer in a video conference is poor audio quality. Not surprisingly, if your colleagues can’t properly hear each other chances are much won’t get accomplished in the meeting. For the best audio conferencing
experience, use a video conferencing solution with integrated high-quality sound. Specifically, spatial audio and built-in noise reduction create the most professional setting. If joining a conference in a noisy area, use a headset to eliminate distractions and guarantee that you’ll be heard clearly.
Stay Muted When You’re Not Talking
Unless you’re breathing silently without any sensible noise coming from your audio endpoint, a good bet is to stay muted when you’re not talking. In smaller, more intimate settings like a 1:1 this is a different story. There are inevitable interruptions that happen in a conversation so keeping your audio source open the whole time is OK. However, in larger group video conferences you want to minimize unnecessary noise unless you’re speaking. Some video conferencing providers even offer keyboard shortcuts that allow you to mute with the “M” key.
Keep it Conversational and…FUN
There are certainly occasions where a no-nonsense meeting is appropriate. For example, forecast calls, training sessions, and deadline-heavy project scrums. That said, the majority of your video conferences happen with your team, or your favorite customers, or your counterpart in another department. Treat these meetups like you’re chatting in person. Be fun, be conversational, tell a good story — whatever is suited for the moment. While it’s true that productivity is mission critical for the meeting, don’t be afraid to enjoy the simplicity of joining a video conference as easily as a hallway conversation.