With 2020 unofficially dubbed as the “work from home” year due to the coronavirus outbreak, we thought it would be helpful to share some useful virtual meeting tips. By now you’ve probably been on at least one video conference call to connect with your coworkers, partners or customers. But now it’s time to learn the art, the etiquette and the masterful craft of making those video calls successful for everyone involved.
What is a video conference call?
A video conference call is an online meeting that combines live video feeds from a video conferencing system with a screen sharing solution to enable group collaboration. Video conference calls allow remote meeting participants to conduct more meaningful face-to-face conversations without having to rely on travel for productive in-person meetings.
Video Conferencing Etiquette: The 10 Do's and Don'ts
1. Be prepared and on-time for the meeting
There’s nothing worse than attending a video meeting without any context clues and having the presenter join the meeting late because they weren’t ready. Make a meeting agenda in advance, send it out to your attendees and stick to it throughout the call. Not only does it help with productivity and efficiency, it’ll also set the tone for the meeting and give others time to prepare their questions and contributions.
2. Keep it concise
Allow me to reference Occam’s razor to illustrate this rule: “The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.” That means keep your video calls short and sweet. Everyone has schedules that are jam-packed these days, and frivolous conversation not only is unproductive and time-consuming but can also be extremely frustrating.
3. Utilize visuals to enhance participant interest
Visuals are a great way to keep a meeting interesting and fresh. With Lifesize Share, you can wirelessly share applications, PowerPoint™ presentations, videos, charts, graphs and anything else for real-time collaboration.
Unfortunately, quick projects and last-minute deadlines can pop up unexpectedly throughout the workday. So it’s important to record your video call so that late or absent colleagues can tune in later at their convenience to catch up on the information.
5. Mute yourself when not speaking
Even if you think you’re being extremely quiet while someone else is speaking, most microphones will pick up faint sounds like typing, coughing, chewing or tapping your pen. Once you get several people on a call with unmuted microphones, the background noise can be extremely distracting. As a common courtesy to others, always mute your microphone when you’re not speaking.
6. Minimize distractions
This may seem obvious, but it is important to make sure that everyone is focused on the meeting at hand and not on other distracting tasks. Put your smartphone on silence or out of sight during the meeting. If you are sharing your screen with the other participants, try to disable pop-up notifications and close other programs like chat, calendar notifications and e-mail. Businesses that use video conferencing report fewer instances of multitasking in meetings, resulting in shorter meeting times.
7. Don’t forget to be yourself
We’re well past video conferencing being solely used for quarterly board meetings with your executive team — it has transformed into a daily way of communicating face to face. Just like texting, talking on the phone or walking over to your colleague’s desk and chatting in person, the video conferencing experience is about what’s being discussed. So don’t fret when it comes to getting on camera — just be yourself!
8. Keep meetings right-sized
The more people there are on a call, the more confusing and distracting things can be. Fewer people mean higher collaboration and increased participation. Of course, if you are having a company-wide meeting, invite everyone to join the live stream and record it for those who can't make the live event.
9. Double-check your settings
While video calling just takes one click of a button now, it never hurts to double-check your settings and make sure your audio and camera are correctly configured. That way, if you have an external monitor with a built-in camera, you can adjust accordingly.
10. Use common courtesy
Because video collaboration is just like an in-person interaction, it is important to use the same courtesy you would use if you were in the same room. This includes paying attention to the speaker, minimizing multitasking and refraining from interrupting. Though this may seem obvious, good manners can take you far when building business relationships.
Six things to consider when choosing a video conference call app
1. Call reliability
Make sure your video conferencing service provider is built on a reliable and resilient network that has the global availability to meet your business’s unique needs.
2. Video quality
Don’t settle for anything less than amazing for your mission-critical communication. Perfectly tuned audio and 4K video make you feel like you’re in the same room, even if you’re connecting from thousands of miles away.
3. Ease of use
Choose a solution that integrates with your corporate directory for an easy way to connect with colleagues, but also make sure the solution supports guest calling for meeting with customers and partners outside of your organization, too.
4. Wireless screen sharing
Instantly transform your video call into a collaborative working session by sharing your screen or presentation. That way you can cooperate on a document in addition to communicating face to face.
5. Customer support
Who do you call if something breaks? A business-class solution must be backed by support within meaningful response times. Choose a solution that will support you throughout the life of the service.
6. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Support for PC or Mac, tablet and smartphone (Android or iOS) and browser-based calling is essential. BYOD is here to stay — for the best adoption, find a solution that integrates with all of the devices your team loves to use.
Why use Lifesize for your video conference call?
Leverage hardware and software together
By integrating our meeting room systems and cloud service, we enable every person, every device and every conference room with amazing video conferencing.
Tap into a global network
With data centers in every major geography, our global presence helps you connect your global teams with a 99.9% uptime service level agreement and industry-leading customer satisfaction rating.
Seamless integration with all apps
Lifesize fits in the workflow of your existing tools to give you the best video user experience in the apps and meeting rooms you use every day. Third-party conference room systems like Polycom and Cisco and scheduling and collaboration tools like Microsoft® Teams, Microsoft® Skype for Business, Microsoft® Outlook® and Google Calendar™ are seamlessly integrated with Lifesize.
Securely connect and communicate with team members
Lifesize uses best-of-breed data centers with independent third-party security and privacy certifications to ensure the most secure and reliable foundation possible for our customers.
Ready to get started with Lifesize?
At Lifesize, everything we do is designed, built and supported to make the user experience excellent and effortless from day one. After more than fifteen years of developing conference room systems, wireless meeting room presentation devices, video conferencing apps and the global cloud network that ties it all together, we don’t settle for anything less than amazing. Lifesize delivers an unmatched unified meeting experience that you can trust to work the first time, every time.
In response to COVID-19 pandemic, Lifesize is offering free, unlimited video conferencing service to all global businesses for six months. Our goal is to support businesses as best we can during this difficult time and keep the world working.
Video conference call FAQs
How do I make a video conference call?
There are several ways to make a video conference call with the Lifesize app. With a directory-based video calling service, making a call is as easy as clicking on a name. This video shows how easy it is to get in touch with your contacts on Lifesize.
How do I do a group video call?
Making a group video call is easy. You can schedule one-time or recurring meetings using Lifesize and your favorite calendar service. Just select a meeting room to meet in and send the call details to your meeting invitees. They can join from the Lifesize app, their browser with the Lifesize web app or even just by phone. And all of the options are included in the body of your meeting invite.
How do I share my screen in a video conference call?
If you’re joining a video conference call from the Lifesize app on your laptop or via the browser-based web app, just click on the present icon to share your screen. If you’re in a meeting room, our wireless meeting room sharing device, Lifesize Share™, makes it easy to share your screen, play videos or even control presentations right from your phone without having to rely on dongles or specialty connectors.
How do I join a video conference call from my mobile phone?
The Lifesize mobile app offers remote users more features for meeting on the go. Learn more about features like pinch-to-zoom and listen-only mode in this quick overview video.