In a previous post, we discussed 5 Best Practices That Will Enhance Your Tablet Teleconferencing Experience. This week, we’ve decided to follow up with a list of 5 things you should avoid to help you get the most out of your video meetings.
While there are no hard rules that dictate what you can and cannot wear to work, you should use your own judgement and assume the same level of professionalism whether you are in the office or working remotely. On another note, unless you have a scheduled office theme day, you should probably avoid wearing clothing with bright colors, high contrast patterns and busy graphics while videoconferencing–they can be very distracting!
Pay attention to body language
Your body position, posture and movements can all have a big impact on how you are perceived by others in the meeting. Watching someone fidget constantly, fix their hair or play with their phone is not only distracting for everyone else, but it sends the message that you are either nervous or unfocused. The same can be said for posture. Sit up straight, square your shoulders and look directly into the camera. A relaxed or slouched posture will make you seem disengaged from the conversation.
Note: Fidgeting applies to KUBI too! Unless you are re-directing the camera to look at the person speaking, avoid excessive movement during the conversation. KUBI is designed to enhance the call by allowing direct face to face interaction, but a constantly moving KUBI does exactly the opposite. KUBI is fun, but keep it under control!!!
Don’t be that guy
Don’t be the guy/girl that causes sound interference. There are few things more disruptive to a meeting than having your conversation drowned out by people chatting, children playing, a bustling coffee shop or other disturbances in the background. Pick a quiet place to have your conference where you will not be disturbed. Your team members will appreciate it and your meeting will be more productive!
Echo is another common annoyance while videoconferencing. If you are the source of echo, people will let you know! Try turning the volume down on your device/speaker, and make sure to mute your microphone when others are speaking so their voice isn’t reflected back through the call. Another option is to purchase one of several high quality speakerphones on the market that feature echo cancellation technology. See our post Do Your Video Conferences Need an Audio Upgrade? Try One of These Speakerphones for some great recommendations.
Video calls are a new experience for many people, and it can take a few times to adjust to the subtle differences in communication. For some, it may be a bit intimidating, for others, the remote experience is empowering. Be mindful of this, and if you are a little shy, don’t be afraid to speak up! Address people before talking and add your input to the conversation. It is a meeting, after all.
Those who are comfortable and assertive during the video call should remember to be respectful of others who may not have the same experience. Don’t interrupt, give people time to speak and make sure to address others by name when you are talking to them. A little grade-school etiquette will go a long way towards making the meeting run smoothly for everyone.
Being late or missing a video meeting because you didn’t have the proper software or didn’t know how to use it is embarrassing, and just plain rude. Make sure you have the appropriate software downloaded, and that it works with your operating system well before the scheduled meeting date. It also makes sense to spend some time using the specific software, as there are many on the market and each has its own nuances. Knowing how to use the screen share feature or record video for later reference could come in handy during the meeting.
Besides the technical details, meeting over a videoconference is really not very different than meeting in person. If you are prompt, respectful, assertive and professional you should do just fine.