During these uncertain times, many organizations have transitioned to a virtual environment. This means more people are working from home and holding meetings online through video. Running a video conference may be new to you. If so, here are some best practices you can follow to make sure your next meeting is effective and productive.
- Test the technology and connection ahead of time. Make sure everyone has downloaded the video software and tested their internet connection before your first meeting. No matter which platform you are using, a quick overview of the technology can help your employees become comfortable with the basic features so you can start your meetings on time.
- Assign a host. Your meetings will run more smoothly when one person is in charge. That person can send the meeting invite, arrive to the meeting first and check to see that everyone is on the call before starting, and not experiencing any challenges.
- Offer a call-in option. Video conferencing usually works well, but technical problems can happen. Offer an audio-only option for those who may be having difficulty with their video or are away from their camera.
- Adjust the lighting. People look best on screen when the light source is in front of them. Lighting from behind can create a shadow. Natural light is the most flattering. Overhead lights that are too bright can make it hard to see the person.
- Find the right position. Looking at the camera head-on and at eye level makes it easier for people to talk to each other directly. They should position themselves in the middle of the screen from their midsection up to their head. Video conferences are more effective when people see each other’s expressions and body language.
- Limit background noise. Ask people to wear headphones and mute their microphones when they aren’t speaking in order to minimize sounds from their environment.
- Follow meeting basics. Before the meeting starts, set clear objectives and email any documents ahead of time. During the video conference, it helps to follow an agenda, take breaks and outline next steps.
- Take turns talking. A big challenge of video conferencing is that people often talk over each other. To help this, you can call on individuals or encourage people to raise their hands. Many video conferencing programs have a hand-raising feature built in. This is helpful because people can be uncomfortable with interruption.
With so many changes happening in the workplace during these challenging times, video meetings keep people connected. Following these tips will ensure your meetings run smoothly. The more you use video conferencing, the more comfortable everyone will become.