Video conferencing is not a new medium for most businesses in our globalised world, but since COVID-19, the adoption has been widespread within businesses internally, as well as externally. Teleconferencing company, Zoom, reported massive growth and doubled in revenue for its fiscal first-quarter between February and April, unsurprisingly driven by the surge in users as more people were forced to work from home.
Mastering video conferencing sounds simple, but there’s a delicate line between professionalism and unprofessional. Here are our top tips to ace video conferencing.
1. Test equipment
No one wants to wait around for 10 minutes while you resolve your tech issues. Sign on earlier to test your computer or phone’s video and audio and ensure that you are connected with a strong signal.
Allow even more time to check that the programme you’re using is up-to-date or if you need to download something beforehand.
A great tip is to use a headset; people usually have no issues dealing with substandard video, but substandard audio can render a call useless.
2. Show up on time
This seems obvious, right? Don’t be that person running into a meeting late with a hot coffee in hand. The rules don’t change online, it’s still good manners to show up on time.
3. Try to find a quiet environment
Whilst most people understand that working from home means you’re also working next to your partner/baby/kids/dog/cat, try to have a separate area for peace and quiet while you’re on a video conference. Loud noises and distractions can easily derail a speaker and break the professional facade.
4. Look presentable
Even if you’re business top up and wearing pyjama bottoms, at least others can see you’ve made an effort to dress up for the occasion. It’s hard to take anyone seriously if they literally “woke up like this”.
The effort to get ready will also give you a “going to work” mentality, which will keep you motivated and productive.
5. Be present
Just like face-to-face meetings, video calls are valuable time to connect with your peers. Remember that there’s no hiding with videos arrayed across the screen, so everyone can see what you’re doing. Keep in mind when yawning, rolling your eyes, or when they wander to the side to watch TV in the background.
6. Body and eye contact
Eye contact helps people communicate with each other more effectively and is an important part of physical body language. Talk as if you normally would, using gestures with hands, or giving a reassuring nod to let the speaker know you’re actively listening.
7. Find the light and angles
Remember that saying, “the camera adds ten pounds”? Don’t give it any reason to make you look unflattering by finding somewhere to sit with natural light and framing your face directly. A lens pointed upwards will only show your double chins and lounging in bed doesn’t send the right message either.
8. Mute your mic
Mics are very sensitive; every crunch of a biscuit, gulp of water, or heavy sigh is captured on audio for everyone to hear. Mute yourself if you’re not actually speaking or participating in a group discussion, as to not disrupt the person speaking. Conversely, remember to unmute yourself when it’s your turn to speak (cue someone saying “your mic is on mute”).
9. Engage in conversation
At the end of the day, video conferences are there for your own benefit – to contribute to new ideas, build relationships and social support in lieu of not seeing your team every day. Speak up, take the opportunity to ask questions, and participate. This may help you get through the day quicker and keep track of any work deadlines.
10. Don’t be a potato
Snapchat and Instagram filters are all the rage, but let’s leave those for social media. Turning yourself into a potato during a video conference, while hilarious, definitely teaches us a lesson of getting in grips with technology, especially if you’re not confident with it.
Depending on your team dynamics and work environment, which could be more casual, these tips may or may not be relevant for you. The important thing to note while we are all working from home is to ensure daily contact amongst the team, whether that be video or not.
As a fully remote operating business, we can speak to you about your bookkeeping or accounting needs via email, call or video conference. Get in touch with one of our consultants to learn more about the services we offer.