Find out how to optimise your next video conference with these 11 helpful tips
What makes for a great video conference?
Choose the right software
There are currently various different virtual conferencing softwares available: Teams, Meet, Zoom, Skype to name some of the biggest ones. Each proposes different functionalities and it isn’t rare for a person to use multiple softwares as they all fit different purposes.
Make sure your Internet connection is stable
A stable Internet connection is a must for conducting a good video conference. It’s crucial that your internet is speedy to ensure the smooth running of the call. An unstable internet connection can make you seem unprofessional but also deform the message you’re trying to convey.
Be aware of time zones
If time zones are an issue for your video conference, make sure to pick a time for the meeting that works for all participants. Discuss schedules and timetables beforehand, and agree on a moment that’s convenient for all participants.
Prepare your subject before the meeting
Meetings go better when there’s a clear set of points to bring up or an outline for discussion, even if it’s not a formal meeting. Make sure you know your subject and when to give others time to speak, especially if you’re the leader of the discussion or the one presenting.
Keep track of time
It’s important to keep an eye on the time. Meetings may span over a short or long amount of time. Therefore it is essential that you make sure you allocate the right amount of time to each topic of the discussion so all can be said.
Be aware of who speaks when
Take turns speaking during the active discussion, and be careful not to talk over each other. If there are many people taking part in the group meeting, you have the possibility to set up a round-the-table system where everyone knows in advance when they can contribute.
Even if you’re meeting over video, it’s still important to dress for a video conference as it will ensure you come across as a professional. It is important to not underestimate the effect your appearance can have on your demeanour and tone.
Use visual aids
Using different types of media to communicate your points helps immensely in making the video conference more engaging and the session more effective. Work to capture and retain the attention of the participants throughout the entirety of the meeting, especially if you’re taking up most of the meeting time with a presentation. You can make use of graphs, photos, videos, slides, and whatever might apply to your particular presentation.
Set a time limit
It’s important to set a time limit for yourself and your coworkers so that you don’t go overboard. It can be easy to get carried away or caught up in the details. Make sure you focus on what’s important and cover all the main points without taking up more time than is needed.
Pay attention to your tone of voice and body language
Make your presentation as engaging and interesting as you can. It’s even more important to consider this when the meeting is taking place online. Don’t be monotone, use your hands, make eye contact, and make sure to smile so that the presentation doesn’t feel too mechanical.
Delegate meeting responsibilities
Decide with your team ahead of time who will take care of the technical aspects, who will animate or mediate the discussion, who will project their screen if applicable, etc. This will help make the meeting go as smoothly as possible, without wasting time on unexpected problems that are easily preventable with a bit of planning and organisation.