Not so long ago, video conferencing was only available to the largest, richest corporations. Systems cost tens of thousands of dollars, and often required the presence of expensive IT staff on top. Accessibility to technologies like software-as-a-service have today madevideo conferencing platforms available to even the smallest business.
So now your business can punch above its weight with state-of-the-art video communications, how can you be sure that you and your employees are ready for life in the limelight? Here, we offer six simple ways to ensure your video conference looks and feels professional – and does the business for your business.
1. Ask yourself why
It’s easy to assume a video conference is the right communication channel, just because you can. But before setting up that meeting, ask yourself whether you could achieve the same objectives via a conference call, web meeting or a good old-fashioned face-to-face.
2. Get to know your solution
Today’s conferencing solutions are easier than ever to use, and they have features that can make your meeting even more powerful. Find out before you ‘go live’ how to bring up charts and other graphics, or share your desktop for a richer experience all round. During a conference isn’t the time to fiddle with features…. Especially when you’re on camera!
3. Choose the right angle
Set up your camera well in advance of your meeting, ideally at the same time the day before so your natural light will be at the same angle. Avoid distracting backgrounds to keep your viewers’ focus on you and your message. Invest in a decent webcam, which are very affordable, and ensure it is properly focused. Lastly, use the preview feature so you can see exactly what your participants will see.
4. Set an agenda and stick to it.
One of the advantages of video conferencing is saving time. So don’t waste that time by holding rambling, unproductive conversations. Establish early on what ground you want to cover in the call.
5. Practice makes perfect
If you are delivering a high-priority conference – like an investor meeting, press launch or crisis communication, always practice first. That way you’ll know what to say, what buttons to press…and what can go wrong! Better to get the pitfalls out of the way before they matter.
6. Pay attention.
Make the effort to look into the camera when you or other people are speaking to you: that way you look into their eyes and hold their attention. Never, ever check your phone or your emails during a video conference. And if you need to jot something down, mention it to the participants so they know you’re taking notes, not ignoring them.
With conferencing hitting the mainstream, everyone – from the CEO to the most junior executive – needs to be ready for on-camera meetings. With these six tips, you’ll be good to go.
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