You’ve graduated past the 101 beginner class of video conferencing — you have the equipment and technology you need, you’ve learned how to make a call and you’ve experienced first-hand the benefits of meeting over video. Now it’s time to learn the art, the etiquette and the masterful craft of making those video calls successful for everyone involved! Here are some tips and tricks for those advanced video callers who are ready to up their game in how they meet.
Golden Rule #1: 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. Getting your point across quickly rather than engaging in all the small talk will ensure that your video participants are listening and not reaching for their phones to cruise through some email while “this long-winded dude” gets to his point.
Golden Rule #2: Be prepared for the meeting. There’s nothing worse than going to a meeting without any context clues and having the presenter walk in late and shuffle around because they weren’t ready. Make an 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 so the conversation can keep going outside of the meeting room.
Golden Rule #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 or anything else for real-time collaboration.
Golden Rule #4: Record the video conference for absent colleagues. Unfortunately, quick projects and last-minute deadlines can pop up unexpectedly throughout one’s 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.
Golden Rule #5: Optimize the conference room for video. Though video conferencing can be done just about anywhere, a well-designed meeting space can help make the call more aesthetically pleasing for viewers. For example, bright colors tend to heighten engagement, so get some paint up on the walls of the conference room. Lighting is also a very important factor on a video call. Make sure the room is well-lit and glare-free. Don’t forget to have a little fun, too. Personalize your office or conference room for added effect.
Golden Rule #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. Make sure that everyone’s cell phone is off, their laptops are muted and the room is quiet. 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.
Golden Rule #7: Don’t forget to be yourself. We’re well past video conferencing being solely used for those quarterly boardroom 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!
Golden Rule #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.
Golden Rule #9: Double-check your settings. While video calling just takes one click of a button now, it never hurts to get into your meeting room a couple of minutes early and make sure your settings are in place. That way, if you have an external monitor with a built-in camera, you can adjust accordingly and bring whatever related dongles you might need for a seamless video call.
Golden Rule #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.
By following these golden rules of video conferencing, you can ensure that all will have a seamless, crystal clear, outstanding experience.