Video meetings can feel a bit awkward for most people. It’s natural to feel self-conscious about how you look or sound and uncomfortable with the silence that might occur when people prepare their thoughts. The best way to combat these feelings is to make and optimize video conference meetings as frequently as possible.
A remote team needs to do video meetings as much as you would do a stand-up meeting in an office. Video conference meetings are best done in the morning, so it’s an effective way to start your day and give everyone structure and focus.
You could even use video conference meetings for one-on-one check-ins with employees, which will help them feel more connected to management.
Learn how to optimize video meetings below!
Choose the right environment for the meeting.
A meeting in person tends to occur somewhere appropriate for a discussion — a private office or conference room. When you have a video meeting, though, the setting could be anywhere. So before the session begins, you should optimize video meetings and make sure that you’ll be able to give your colleagues your full attention.
Find a quiet room
If possible, shut the door and let others know you’re unavailable until the meeting ends. In addition, it would help if you eliminated as many potential distractions as possible. If necessary, put up a do not disturb sign or turn off your phone or other notifications on your computer so they won’t distract you or other participants during the video call.
Invite the right people
Your meetings must have the people who need to be there. If someone isn’t required at a conference, don’t invite them. It will waste their time and yours as well. Instead, use email or Slack to send out any relevant information so they can read it when they have time.
Keep it short and sweet.
It should keep meetings as short as possible. As well as keeping things running smoothly, you might find it possible to create smaller meetings instead of one longer one. For example, try breaking down your session into different topics and make a separate meeting for each subject.
Be clear about your objective.
Make sure you start with a schedule, so everyone knows what will be discussed at the meeting. If it’s unclear why it invited some people, they won’t focus on the topic and will likely be less productive and engaged. If you need input from the group, send out the agenda before the meeting so everyone can come prepared. But If you’re leading the discussion, stick to your schedule and don’t get bogged down on one issue.
Change your screen layout.
If you’re hosting a meeting, you can simultaneously change your screen layout to show everyone in the conference rather than just the speaker. That can be helpful if you want to read the room or if there are people who haven’t spoken yet that may want to jump in and join the conversation. You can also pin any individual video frame, so it’s always on top, even when someone else is speaking.
Adjust your audio settings
If you’re using a laptop, there’s a good chance that the built-in microphone is adequate. But it’s worth the effort if you can plug in an external USB microphone or even use a high-quality headset with its mic. Either will produce better sound quality than your laptop’s internal mic.
Video conferencing tools are well-established — Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex, and Google Hangouts are all examples of widely used services. They make it easy to chat with groups of people in real time. And if you have a microphone and camera on your computer (or smartphone), you can join from anywhere.
If you want your meeting or webinar to be even better, you will probably need the help of a professional. To create the perfect content, contact a company like Redback Connect. They can help you stand out from the crowd!
Use virtual backgrounds
This feature is available on many video conferencing platforms and helps turn your home office into something more professional-looking (or less messy). It also lets you avoid having to clean up the room before you get on a video call. In addition, you can download free images as backgrounds or create one of your own.
Use keyboard shortcuts
You can make it more comfortable for yourself to mute and unmute, start and stop sharing screens, switch between cameras, and more by using keyboard shortcuts. First, review the available shortcuts for your platform of choice; many are similar across apps, but some are different. Knowing what they are will help you stay focused on the meeting instead of fumbling with menus in front of colleagues.
You don’t have to “dress for success” for video meetings, so choose something comfortable. If your colleagues are anything like ours, you’ll be talking over a video call rather than face-to-face. Your clothing doesn’t matter. Wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
Trying to be ‘professional’ in meetings and presentations is easy. Of course, you need to get the job done and ensure everyone is on task. But don’t forget that you’re speaking to real people who respond much better if you show personality. It’s OK to be professional, but don’t try too hard; otherwise, you’ll appear fake.
Mind your body language
When you’re on a video call, it’s easy for people to start talking over each other or for someone to lose track of who has spoken.
Remember what your parents taught you about good table manners when growing up? They are just as relevant in video meetings around the dinner table: wait your turn, say please and thank you, etc.
We think these tips to optimize video meetings may have helped you, and you will have excellent video meetings!