Videoconferencing is a very convenient tool, and one we use frequently at Emphasize Design. It’s an easy way to connect with clients, talk strategy, and enjoy the benefits of a face-to-face meeting without the inconvenience of travel.
If you’re new to videoconferencing, there’s great value in learning a bit about the etiquette and protocol involved to ensure that your virtual meetings are as productive as possible. Most of the decorum will be familiar to anyone who’s spent time in traditional meetings, but the technology involved in videoconferencing does add a few twists.
Ahead, the Calgary web design and online marketing team at Emphasize Design will share our videoconferencing do’s and don’ts, along with some tips to make meetings more productive no matter the setting.
Making the Most of Your Online Meetings
Just as with any type of meeting, videoconferencing tends to go more smoothly when everyone involved takes the time to prepare properly. Start by making sure that the room you’ll be using is well-lit, and that shades are drawn to prevent glare. Test your equipment before the meeting starts, and make sure there’s no unnecessary noise or other distractions in your meeting room.
- Once everyone is present, do an audio check to ensure that all parties can hear one another. It’s much easier to resolve any audio issues before the meeting really gets rolling.
- When it’s your turn to speak, use a normal voice and don’t stop to ask if everyone can hear you. If anyone is having audio issues, they’ll let you know.
- Avoid unnecessary movement while on-screen, when possible. You don’t have to sit still as a statue, but try not to make quick movements.
- Always be aware that there’s a microphone nearby, and that tapping on the table or shuffling papers can be a big distraction when those sounds are amplified.
- Muting your microphone when you don’t expect to be talking for a few minutes is the easiest way to make sure no distracting sounds come from your side.
- If you’re videoconferencing with a large group, state your name and affiliation before you begin to speak. This allows everyone to know who’s talking while the videoconferencing tech switches to your site.
- When speaking, try to look directly into the camera whenever possible. It’s just like making eye contact in a normal meeting.
Simple Tips for More Productive Meetings in Any Setting
While the format is a bit different, the goals of videoconferencing are the same as the goals of any other type of meeting. Once again, we’ll stress that preparation is the key to a successful, productive meeting.
- Having an agenda in place before your meeting is so important, and so easy to overlook. Make sure everyone has time to look at it, too.
- Basically, everyone involved in the meeting should know why they are there, what’s expected of them, and how the meeting will progress. Be sure to lay out specific objectives, as part of planning your agenda.
- Once you have an agenda, stick to it! Having some adaptability is never a bad thing, but sticking to the agenda should be a priority whenever possible.
- During a meeting, turn off (or silence) any devices you won’t be using to take notes or make a presentation. In addition to helping the meeting run more smoothly, this allows you to avoid the embarrassment of your phone going off at the least convenient possible time.
- Creativity is a good thing, because it allows you to make a memorable impression and keep meetings fresh. Look for interesting ways to present data, frame conversations, and encourage collaboration.
- After a meeting – especially with a client – be sure to follow up, cover any loose ends, and reinforce what you discussed in the meeting.
Given the convenience and productivity benefits of videoconferencing, it’s definitely a tool worth trying if you haven’t already.
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