Breaking down all of this information into an actionable playbook seems like a good idea because video calling, and making a great point while on mute are here to stay. So let’s dive into our top 6 ways to improve your video conference calls whether you’re the host or a participant.
Teams, Zoom, RingCentral, Avaya, Oh My!
You have probably had a day where you used four different platforms in a day’s time. At Inflow, depending on the client or internal meeting we could have a Zoom call, followed by a Teams meeting, and record our weekly Contact Center webinar series with GoToWebinar. Whichever video conferencing platform you choose to use, familiarize yourself with it ahead of time so that you’re prepared for each call.
Because no matter how advanced technology becomes, one thing is for sure: glitches can and WILL occur for even the savviest of users. It’s best to log on five minutes early, especially if you’re the host.
If you’re a participant, log on a minute early to ensure you’re on time for the meeting. If you’re using a brand new video conference platform, test it out with a co-worker ahead of time to ensure your initial call will run smoothly. Oh, and please check to make sure there are no filters still in use that your kids may have been using.
Provide an Agenda And Stick To It
In order to help prepare participants for a call, provide an agenda in the meeting invite. In the subject line of the invite put that there is an agenda in the invite as well, with so many virtual meetings people accept and some don’t read the body of the invite. This creates awareness amongst the attendees on what will be discussed. With a meeting agenda, participants can plan their contributions, which helps to balance participation levels.
Sticking to the agenda helps everyone stay on course, and if there is a side discussion that needs to happen outside of the call make sure to mention the agenda. We have all been a part of meetings that quickly went off course. Having an agenda and using that to guide the direction of your meeting is something everyone will appreciate.
Find a Quiet-ish Space
That sounded a lot easier 14 months ago, didn’t it? The good news is that everyone has gotten much more understanding of kids, dogs, cats jumping on your keyboard, and background noise in general. Of course, having a great noise-canceling headset is a great way to ensure no matter the environment around you.
Naturally, you’ll want to find a quiet, dedicated space for your video conference calls. This will allow you to focus and attend or host without disruption. If you’re in the office, find a conference room or quiet area to attend your call. If you’re at home, use your office or a quiet spot in your home, and make sure you’ve dressed appropriately for the call, at least the top half.
When it comes to lighting, finding a window to face with the shade down provides great soft light. Also, if your real background isn’t appropriate to show during the call, choose a virtual background.
Mute When Necessary
Make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with how to mute and unmute your microphone so that you don’t disturb the call with any background noise going on around you. A best practice is to mute yourself unless you’re speaking. Also, if you do need to get up during a call, mute yourself and disable video in order to reduce any distractions for other participants. In addition, seriously don’t ever underestimate the power of a good headset which makes it seamless to mute and unmute while on the call.
Stay Focused, Yes You Are Busy, However, This Is A Priority
As tempting as it is, avoid doing any work, like sending emails or checking your phone, while you’re on the video call. This will allow you to be attentive and engaged, which is a must during any call. Imagine being addressed in a video call and not hearing the question due to the fact that you’re distracted. Also, avoid looking at your phone or eating while on a call as well as this could signal to other attendees that you’re not completely paying attention.
Your time is valuable and so is the time of others on the call. It is a sign of respect to be present with the others who have given you their undivided attention, reciprocate. Turn off notifications, close down email and messaging and enjoy some human interaction!
Prepare for a Screen Share
Whether you know you’ll be sharing your screen or not, take a few moments to prepare your screen. Remove any distractions like instant messaging or chat windows to avoid any embarrassing notifications. Close any tabs or applications that are irrelevant to the meeting. Prepare for what you plan to share by having those files or tabs already open on your computer so that you’re not digging for those when it’s time to share them.
Maybe It Is Your Video Conferencing Platform Holding You Back?
If you think that your technology just isn’t what your clients expect or what is holding you back from having engaging conversations in the new era of client experience we have you covered! This is what we do all day every day and would love to help you find the right solution and integration for your organization! Contact us today to get advice on getting the most out of your current or next Unified Communications solution!