Professional Tips on Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is bigger than ever right now and is essential for most businesses or students to continue their work. I've been using Zoom as a video conferencing tools for years now. Below are professional tips on how to do video conferencing well and with ease.

1. Start with your space

You want to have a space that has good lighting (if you're on video) and quality sound. Hosting a conference in a place with an echo or dogs barking would be less than ideal. Have good quality light. Natural lighting is best, but make sure the window is NOT behind you. This can create a glare. If possible. create a "work nook" that's a good visual. Think about the people you see interviewed on TV right now. There are usually a few books, maybe a picture frame or fresh flowers right behind him. This is part of their staged appearance. You can simply do the same with things in your home.

Before beginning a call, make sure you have everything you need in your space. Here's a short list:

  • Computer and charger - video drains a computer battery faster

  • Headphones (with a built in mic) - this is better for audio

  • Phone and phone charger

  • Water - for many this can be stressful. Stay hydrated. I easily drink 16 oz on a one hour call.

  • Any additional resources - pen, paper, book, etc

2. Test it out

The first time you do a video conferencing call is the hardest. Therefore, test it before you go into the meeting. Try clicking the link to join the meeting. It won't let you in if it's well in advance of the scheduled time. If using Zoom, you should have it downloaded on your computer and/or your phone (app). Make sure it has the latest update.

Before joining any meeting it'll ask you about audio. You have the option of dialing in with your phone or using your computer audio. Either way, I recommend using headphones. What I have found successful is joining the video call on my computer and dialing in for audio, especially when I'm the host. The reason for this is if the internet goes down for even a second and disconnects you from Zoom, then you are still connected with audio.

Also review how the camera displays your profile. I have a friend who's shorter and when she logs on all I can see is her eyes and forehead. She has to remember to adjust the computer screen down so I can see her face. I like to put my computer on a thick book to get it a bit of a boost.

3. Video Conferencing Etiquette

While on the call there are many important tips you need to know.

  • Come professionally prepared. However you would attend this meeting in person is how you should dress for the video call. Most people on video will look professional from the waist up, and that's acceptable.

  • Know your dashboard. Below is a snapshot of what it looks like.

  • Mute yourself, especially when it's a larger group. Click the microphone button in the bottom left to mute yourself, and again to unmute. You'll see a red microphone in the bottom of your video screen to denote you're muted. The host of the meeting has the ability to do this as well.

  • There's a button in the upper right hand corner that'll say "speaker view" or "gallery view". Most times, you'll want gallery view. Then you can see everyone on the call, yourself included. If you do speaker view, it'll only highlight the person talking. (See picture.)

  • NOTE: When you are on a video call and your video button is on, people can see you. It doesn't matter if you can see yourself or not, that might be your settings. I tell you this because people do crazy things on calls when they think they aren't visible. The worst I've seen is someone going to the restroom while on a video call because they didn't realize people could see them. It might be a safe idea to stay in the "work nook" you created.

  • Here's a great tip you can use. Click on the arrow next to your video icon. Click on "video settings". There, you can check a box (see picture) that says "touch up my appearance". This just gives a natural glow to your video call.

  • Utilize the chat feature if needed. Keep in mind there's a drop down in the chat that allows you to send a message to everyone or to a specific person.

  • There's a record feature. If you're the host you can record the video call for future trainings or HR purposes. If you're on a call and someone's recording, you'll see a red recording dot in the upper left hand corner.

You're going to do great. Like anything else, the more you use something, the easier it becomes. If you are using Zoom specifically on the basic free version, you get a limit of 40 minutes on a call you're hosting. If you need more time, Zoom is reasonable ranging between $15-$20/mo (link).

This blog post is not sponsored by Zoom.

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