Who would have thought only a few short weeks ago that meetings are now much more likely to occur via videoconference than any other way? This method of connection is the new norm in these strange days. One videoconference application, Zoom, went from 10 million monthly users in January and February to 200 million in March. Meeting virtually via videoconference carries all the same expectations as a face-to-face meeting, plus a few more. Here are some suggestions to make any videoconference you host or attend much more fruitful.
Preparation: If you are the host, organize and share an agenda in advance. Choose a software application that will work for all attendees. Create your environment with the right lighting, camera angle, microphone, etc. Ensure there are no time limits and that it will work for users with both MAC and Windows PCs. Some might even attend via phone or another mobile device, so think about that as well. Consider whether the software has recording capabilities as that might be necessary. If you are an attendee, readying yourself is important as well. Frame your camera angle correctly, no upward nostril views please. Sit at eye level to the camera lens. Have the right lighting in place. Do not mix natural and electric lighting—lighting from the sides is best. Dress appropriately, there is no reason to do otherwise even though this is a video meeting.
Participation: Be on time and ready for video and audio. Allow a few minutes of adjustment for all to get on board with both audio and video capabilities. Sit up straight, with a forward feel and positive look. Smile! Hosts should share and reinforce rules such as taking turns speaking and muting yourself when someone is presenting. When it is your turn to speak, speak with confidence but do not shout. Look into the camera, not at others or yourself on the screen. Do not multitask unless that is specifically allowed. Most importantly, pay attention! Hosts should ensure that meeting objectives are met and that the flow goes toward that goal. Be considerate of people’s schedules and start and end on time. Consider periodic breaks if meetings are particularly long. Take advantage of collaborative tools such as separate chat sessions and white boards. In the end, be sure to follow up on all actions that are documented and assigned.
Videoconferencing has become essential to business success and is the next best thing to being there. IT Radix is both a Zoom reseller and Teams expert! Contact IT Radix and let us help you create a video conferencing environment to be productive working from home today!
First published in our May 2020 IT Radix Resource newsletter