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Six steps to better video conferencing

March 3, 2020

According to a recent Polycom survey, 96% of business leaders believe video conferencing improves productivity. It’s also greener, healthier and a better use of time.

Make sure  your next video conference runs smoothly by following our six steps to effective video conferencing:

 

1. Choose the right setting

Background distractions and poor audio quality are often the biggest problems with video conferences.

Avoid loud music, background noise or a cluttered background. These distractions disrupt the flow and distract your audience.

Invest in a good background and a proper microphone.  Ideally, opt for a plain, static background  and chose a location free from noise and visual distractions.

 

2. Prepare yourself properly

Most importantly, plan what you say with care. When speaking directly to camera each word matters. Use all your presenting and public speaking expertise to connect with your audience, grab their attention, reinforce your messages and illustrate your examples.

Then, familiarise yourself with the video conferencing software. Test the connection, the sound levels and how to share your screen or start your digital presentation. This will help you appear professional and in control.

And, if you are using an online conferencing system, include a quick-start guide in the email invitation. At BBA we use online video conference packages Zoom and Skype

 

3. Demonstrate positive body language

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said,” according to management guru Peter Drucker.

Nonverbal communications includes movements and postures that communicate our feelings and attitudes. And, facial cues play a vital role in how participants perceive interactions.

Quick tips for improving your body language in virtual meetings:

  • Sit upright
  • Nod or lean forward to acknowledge contributions.
  • Smile to stimulate feelings of trust, warmth and cooperation.
  • Look at the camera lens (and position it at eye level).
  • Frame yourself so you are not too close to the camera,so your reactions appear normal.
  • And always pay attention. Demonstrate active listening.

 

4. Dress for success

When deciding what to wear, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: would I wear this to the office? If your clients would expect to see you in smart business attire, wear that.

Also, choose clothes that look good on-screen. For example, news reporters on television avoid wearing white because it catches too much light. And they rarely wear clothing with bold or checkered patterns, as these tend to ‘jump’ on screen. Instead, opt for solid colours.

 

5. Focus on the job at hand

Winston Churchill once said, “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

So, however tempting, avoid distractions such as emails or messages. When your gaze is not on your the camera, participants will assume you are distracted. That means switch off your phone and if using a computer, exit applications such as email that generate alerts.

And, above all, remember that you are always visible. If you hold your head in your hands, others will interpret this.

6. Practice

Finally, do what the best do and prepare yourself properly.  That means rehearsing and practicing.  This is what makes the difference.  Keep building your skills so that you look great.  If you want us to help, we can support you either remotely via video conference or face-to-face.

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Become a more effective communicator today

I want to improve my video conferencing skills

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