When you first install your video conferencing software or equipment, you are excited about getting started with talking to clients and colleagues through the new technology. However, before you jump in front of the camera and start calling people, it’s important to make sure you’re doing the right thing. There are some secrets you should know before your first video conference that will make it more effective and help in making sure the rest of your video conferences to come will be exactly what you and the people you’re talking to are looking for. Here are six secrets you should know.
Set up a Time and Be on Time
Whenever you’re having a video conference, using software from companies like Blue Jeans, you need to first schedule the call with everyone who will be in the meeting. Once the time has been agreed on and set, you need to make sure nothing interferes with your ability to attend the meeting. You cannot be late, or it will send a message of indifference, according to Inc.com. The good news is you can set several alarms for yourself and even the video conferencing software itself can remind you that you’re going to have a meeting soon.
Maintain the Right Speaking Level
You want to be heard while you’re talking in the video conference, but you don’t want people to feel as if they have to turn down the speaker on their computer either. If you’re unsure of how loudly to speak into your microphone, you can complete a test call ahead of time. Speak with someone in your office and ask how the volume was. If they say they cannot hear you or that you were too loud, adjust your tone as necessary. Your proximity to the microphone or recording device will have a big impact on your correct voice level.
Know Where to Look When You’re Speaking
The hardest thing for many to grasp when they’re talking on a video conference, according to Entrepreneur, is where to look. Your instinct is to always look at the person you’re talking to. However, if you’re looking at the face of the person you’re talking to on the screen, from their vantage point, you’re not looking at them. This is why when you’re speaking, you should be looking at the camera instead of the screen. While you’re listening, you’re perfectly fine to look at who is talking to you. Keep in mind that if you’re looking at the screen while you’re talking, it can appear that you’re lying because you’re looking away rather than directly at the people you’re addressing.
Do Not Multitask
When you are sitting in your office conducting a video conference, you’re going to be distracted by the things going on around you. Your cell phone and emails will demand your attention, but if you try to multitask, it can be disastrous. Not only are you not paying attention to the meeting when you do this, but you look disinterested in what’s going on in the meeting. Clicking on the keyboard or the beeps from your cell phone announce that you’re not really engaged and it will upset those you’re talking to. Focus on the meeting and turn off all other distractions.
Be Prepared for Your Meeting
Every time you have a video conference, you want to make sure you have everything you need right there with you. Any motions from side to side will make it look as if you’ve left the conversation altogether. Instead, make sure everything is within your reach, so you can easily access it while you’re in the meeting, according to Emily Post. You should also test all of your equipment and software before you place a call or enter a video conference meeting. If you have everything prepared, there will be no surprises during the meeting and you can concentrate on what the meeting is supposed to be about.
Prepare Your Environment
Before you join the video conference, make sure your environment is not going to take away from the video conference call. Even when using excellent equipment and software from companies like Blue Jeans, you can still have sounds on your end that make it impossible for conversation. As such, make sure you’re not in a loud room whenever you get online. You should be in a closed office, at home or somewhere else where it is quiet. If you don’t work in a quiet office, you can look for locations in your city, as well as at your local library, to find a quiet space from which you can enjoy your video conference. All atmosphere noises and noises from other offices will come through on your call. Pay attention to noises as well as lighting and you’re going to have a better meeting.