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8 Tips And Tricks For Less Awkward And More Professional Video Conferencing

Straight on view of open laptop with only woman’s forehead visible on the other side as she works from home on couchFeeling awkward in front of the camera while using video conferencing technology is a simple fix. Promise! With a little exposure, practice, and a deeper understanding, anyone can look good, feel good, and make a lasting impression.

It doesn’t matter if this is your first time or your 1,200th time, video conferencing is proven to strengthen connections and relationships. Not only is communication easier and more effective when you can see another person’s face, but it also becomes empowered.

So, why turn on your video next time you’re in a meeting? Video adds depth and dimension to an otherwise flat audio call. Use video conferencing for:

  • A one-on-one meeting between a colleague and their manager
    Actually get unfiltered, two-way communication with an employee for maximum results and unrestricted face time. Perfect for one-on-ones, promotions, orientations, disciplinary action, brainstorming, and more. It’s the next best thing to being in person, and feels like they’re there with you.
  • Providing positive, constructive, or time-sensitive feedback
    If someone is doing a good job, say it with a smile in a video chat. Let them know the extent of their good work by saying it to their face, or providing detailed feedback that will help them in the long run.
  • A conversation that would take approximately 10 minutes or less to solve
    Jump into a video call to solve a problem that might require a few people – and opinions. Rather than hashing it out with audio-only, turn on your camera and see how everyone reacts for a more in-depth view of the style, content, and ways people are communicating with each other.
  • Cutting down long email about meeting topics that are taking too long
    There are times when email threads just aren’t responded to fast enough or they become too long and get too complicated. With an online meeting, the sync can be quick and concise, getting down to brass tacks fast.
  • Making introductions, onboarding, and hiring new talent
    Using video conferencing makes meeting a new person much easier when it comes to seeing their appearance, how they react, how comfortable they are onscreen, how they carry themselves, etc. HR can get a good feeling right off the bat about a potential new hire

Side view of man setting up handheld device during a video call making origami cranes and chatting with friendThe ways in which people use video conferencing technology has drastically changed and spiked. What was once expensive, bulky, and complex to understand, has now become very affordable, easy to use, and accessible with the click of a button. Now it’s just up to you to shine onscreen!

Here are a few tips and tricks to get you set up for an A+ video chat:

  1. Use Equipment That Works
    Does your device have the latest software updates? Ensure your interpretation equipment is updated and works. Plus, do a check for anything else you might need like cords, plug-ins, a mouse, an HDMI-adapter – whatever makes your meeting more smooth!
  2. Know Where The Camera Is
    Whether you’re using a desktop, laptop, or handheld device, knowing where the camera is so you can look into it will help you connect with the people on the other side of the screen.
  3. Make Sure Everyone Feels Included
    Give people the space to speak, and try not to talk over anyone. If someone pipes up but then quiets down, pass them the proverbial conch by asking if they have anything to share.
  4. Set-Up Team Rules
    Establish some video conferencing etiquette among your team and office. Discuss things like:
    Frequency – How often do online meetings need to occur?
    Content – What kind of matters will be up for discussion?
    Moderators – Who will be hosting and should it change up?
    Participants – Who needs to be there and will it change up?
    Summarize – Will you record or use Smart Summaries?
  5. Look Halfway Decent
    Working from home implies that you don’t have to be completely done up like you would normally in the office. It does, however, recommend that you look presentable from the waist up.
  6. Create A Go-To Space
    If working from home, designate a specific area that will be a calm and quiet place for you to engage in online meetings. If you’re on the go, consider finding a comfortable space that isn’t full of distraction, too noisy, and doesn’t have a lot of traffic.
  7. Have An Ice Breaker On Hand
    It’s always good to prepare something in case you need to introduce people to each other or need to lighten the mood. Prepare for this by reading a few international headlines to see what’s going in the world or learn an activity everyone can play to get warmed up before the meeting. Ask questions like:

    1. Where are you joining us from?
    2. What did you do this weekend?
    3. Tell us two truths and a lie
    4. Show and tell about an item in your nearby environment
  8. Practice!
    Get better at presenting, and used to projecting when you spend time in front of a mirror. These skills translate well into online meetings and will make you feel more comfortable in front of a screen.

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