Following on from our last blog post showing general tips on working from home, we have curated eight more tips specifically on video conferencing for you.
As the Applied Solutions team is spread across Asia, America and Western Europe, video calls are almost a daily occurrence for us, even during normal business times. We've used various tools such as Zoom, LoopUp and Bluejeans before. What we have found is that how well a remote meeting works depends mostly on how participants interact and whether we use the tools to their fullest potential.
- Turn on the camera whenever you can - It always feels less remote if you can see other participants' faces. Pick up the courage to turn the camera on and encourage others to do the same. Everyone will feel better altogether.
- Check yourself and your background before turning the camera on - Surely you must have noticed other peoples' washing or oddly organised, colour-coded bookcases by now. A 5-second check can save you a lot of embarrassment.
- Invest in good headphones and microphones - Instead of your internet connection, bad microphones could be the reason for others not hearing you.
- Test your equipment at least 30 mins before meeting begins - This is especially important when you receive a meeting invitation from external organisations. Your external colleagues may use another piece of software that is not installed on your computer. If the software requires installation and a computer restart, it may take a long while before you can join the actual meeting.
- Have an agenda - If you are allowed to have input to the virtual meeting, try to structure the meeting by having and sharing an agenda with meeting participants in advance. That way you and others can signpost on specific topics if others lose track or have intermittent internet connection.
- "This is [my name]. I have a question" - With varying quality of audio, other meeting participants may not recognise your voice when you are speaking. Even though some meeting software can display the person that is speaking, it is safer if you could signal to everyone that you are speaking, especially when people begin to talk over each other.
- Mute when you are not talking - It should be a no-brainer by now. To stop distracting other people with your unintentionally loud breathing noises or fighting children in the background, mute your microphone.
- Maximise your software settings - Did you know you can allow meeting participants to give Facebook-like reactions on Zoom meetings? Did you know Gotomeeting can transcribe your recorded meetings automatically? Go explore your account settings to see how it could fit your workflow. It only takes 15 minutes!
If you have any other tips we would love to hear them!