The do’s and don’ts of video conferencing

As an increasing number of workplaces transition to being distant, we’re studying learn how to navigate all of the facets of working digitally. Conferences are transferring fully on-line, which signifies that we’re attending plenty of video convention calls. In case you don’t have plenty of expertise with video conferencing, it might take some getting used to — particularly when your entire workforce’s now working remotely. Whereas it’s useful to deal with it like an in-person assembly, there are additionally just a few extra issues you must think about whenever you’re on a video name. Right here’s a information to the do’s and don’ts of video conferencing.

Arrange your house

In case you can, discover a personal place to take the decision. If not, use headphones to attenuate background noise. When you have roommates, companions, or members of the family who’re additionally working from residence (or simply caught at residence), allow them to know beforehand that you just’ll be in a gathering to attenuate interruptions.

Arrange your gadget or digital camera in order that it has a transparent, unobstructed view of you. Don’t sit too removed from (or too near) the digital camera. In case you’re utilizing a separate digital camera, place it close to your display screen — it’s finest to place the digital camera at eye degree, in order that whenever you’re wanting on the display screen, it seems as if you happen to’re wanting on the individual you’re speaking to.

Ensure your face is nicely lit. Pure lighting and aspect lighting work finest, however overhead lights will work nicely, too. Backlighting can usually make it arduous to see; if you happen to can’t change the backlighting, attempt to put one other mild in entrance and to the aspect of your face.

Clear up the realm round you. Open up the digital camera in your laptop computer or change in your exterior digital camera and see what’s seen within the background earlier than the decision, and examine that you just’re comfy displaying that on a video name (so put away your laundry and ensure no matter’s in your partitions is work-appropriate). Oh, and you may also need to set up a virtual background, if you happen to don’t have time to tidy up your house.

Test your look

Top-of-the-line components about working from house is attending to put on sweatshirts and sweatpants all day, however that will not be the proper transfer for a video name. Gown how you’d for an in-person assembly, and ensure to observe your office’s costume code. You don’t have to do something additional, like placed on make-up if you happen to don’t put on it usually, nevertheless it’s a good suggestion to current a fairly good look.

It’s finest to keep away from patterns or stripes which can be distracting on digital camera. Carrying a vibrant white or black shirt could trigger your digital camera to auto-adjust the brightness and make it arduous to see your face, so put on a much less excessive coloration. It additionally doesn’t harm to have good posture.

Beginning the decision

It’s a good suggestion to check your video conferencing software program earlier than the decision, particularly if you happen to’ve by no means used it earlier than. Additionally, be sure you have a powerful Wi-Fi connection and that your gadget is both plugged in or absolutely charged.

Give your self just a few additional minutes earlier than the decision to arrange and if doable, log onto the decision somewhat early, particularly if you happen to’re unfamiliar with the software program that your host is utilizing. As soon as the decision has began, examine to see if everybody can hear and see one another. A great way to do that is by having everybody both examine in or introduce themselves.

Know when to show off your audio and video

Mute your aspect of the decision if you happen to’re not talking. Your microphone can decide up plenty of background noise, so muting permits others on the decision to simply hear who’s talking. Additionally, if it’s worthwhile to stand up or transfer round or do one thing else in the course of the name (or if your toddler suddenly makes an appearance), it’s a good suggestion to change off your video to keep away from inflicting any distractions.

Sign whenever you need to discuss

Throughout in-person conferences, you’ll be able to decide up on visible cues to assist discover the proper time to talk. It’s so much simpler to unintentionally interrupt on a video name. Await just a few moments of silence earlier than talking up in case there’s a sound delay.

If your organization or workforce goes to have common on-line conferences, it’s a good suggestion to determine on a system for asking questions, equivalent to elevating your hand or utilizing chat to ask a query. In case you’re working the assembly, it’s additionally useful to name on folks by identify.

Converse clearly and watch how briskly you communicate (and don’t overlook to unmute your self!). However communicate at your regular quantity — there’s no have to shout, and if you happen to do, your co-workers could decrease their quantity after which miss one thing else.

Keep centered

Be attentive and engaged in the course of the name. As tempting as it’s, strive to not do another work or learn articles or ship emails. (Don’t have a look at your cellphone and don’t eat!) Attempt to look into the digital camera whenever you discuss. In case you have a look at your self or others in your display screen, it might appear to be you’re one thing else. If you’re not speaking, be sure you’re being attentive to whoever’s talking or sharing their display screen and that you just’re any supplies you might have to reference. (Once more, others can see the place you’re wanting.)

If there’s a pause within the dialog as a result of, as an illustration, it’s worthwhile to pull up an electronic mail or reference a doc, be certain to speak that. Delays or lengthy stretches of silence would possibly make it seem to be you’ve misplaced connection, so this simply retains everybody on the identical web page.

Remember the fact that you’re extra seen on video calls than in offline conferences, because you get to see close-ups of everybody’s face individually as an alternative of an entire group of individuals directly. It’s usually useful to maintain your personal face seen on-screen, simply as a reminder that you just’re on digital camera, and so you’ll be able to see what others are seeing.

Sharing your display screen

In case you do have to share your display screen throughout a video name, take just a few seconds to arrange earlier than you hit that share button. Clear your desktop of any additional tabs or packages you’ll have open and ensure any personal or delicate data is hidden.

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