Video meetings are not the future way of meeting; they are the way of meeting today. I have been in many videoconferencing calls where the same disturbances and distractions continue to have a negative effect on the proceedings.
Listed below are a few quick tips that you should keep in mind whenever you’re organising or attending a video meeting. Many of the tips may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who forget to follow these check-ups, and as a result, affect the experience of every attendee.
Make your meeting a video meeting whenever you can. Also, ensure that all relevant conference connection information is added properly to the invitation.
Whenever possible, establish online video conferencing connections several minutes before the meeting start time.
If you are attending the meeting in the office, and have access to a video enabled meeting room with quality camera, microphone and camera, book the room in advance if you can, to enhance the experience for everyone.
Don’t come on time, come early. It’s always irritating to wait for guests to join your meeting. It’s even worse if you, as the host, are late! So, rather than clock watching and joining only as soon as your meeting starts, join early. This will give you time to find out how to use the product if it’s your first time, and finalise some of the settings (camera position, audio, lighting) just before or during the joining process.
If you are joining remotely, try to be connected to a wired Ethernet jack. This prevents WiFi dropouts, quality and speed issues. Ensure that you have a camera, microphone, and headphones or speakers available. Headphones are preferable to avoid audio feedback and echo. Be aware of your surroundings and how you appear visually.
Have all participants on video, no exception!
Mute if you are not talking. A lot of people forget this simple but very effective feature. This will not disrupt the other attendees. It will prevent your mic from picking up background noise, such as the people in the train station, your neighbour’s dog or your colleague talking / typing next to you.
Keep it concise. “The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.” (Occam’s razor). That means keep your video calls short and sweet. Everyone is super busy these days, and impractical conversations are unproductive and time-consuming, and can also be extremely frustrating.
Do a final check off. Sometimes conversations naturally digress from the purpose of the call and that’s why a final check off is always useful. By cross checking your agenda, not only throughout but also at the end of your call, you’ll ensure that everything has been crossed off the list.
Send next steps to your guests. Action items are crucial in meetings. It’s great if you’ve discussed all the points on your agenda, but the host should always send their guests the next steps so there’s no room for any misunderstanding. Clear outcomes and actions from your video and web meeting will ensure that everyone knows exactly what needs to be done and by when.
Remember to follow up. Whether you decide to schedule another video, web meeting or just chat with individuals directly, it’s always important to follow up on the action items you’ve sent out, especially if tasks are time sensitive. Getting caught up with everything else can make it easy for a follow up to slip, so whether you add a reminder in your calendar or write it down on your to do list, make sure you follow up on those action items, otherwise it will never get done!
Here you have it, simple but very effective tips. This will enhance your video meeting experience and humanise the meeting even more. It also makes you more time effective with your meetings and tasks to be achieved afterwards. Who doesn’t want to gain some time back?