Working from home for a foreseeable future due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic? Then you’re going to be getting a lot more comfortable with video conferencing service. Social distancing aside, the fact is 87% more people are turning to video conferencing tools for business today than they did two years ago. Some of you may be working from home for the first time, which means figuring out how to stay on task in a new environment that may not lend itself to productivity. To help guide you through this virtual journey, we’ve put together the best tips for your video conferencing success.
1. Dress to impress
Staying home has all kinds of advantages, but taking a call in your pajamas shouldn’t be one of them (we’re guilty, too). While you want to look presentable, take care to make sure what you’re wearing works for a video. The outfit you choose should make you feel confident and put together, but it shouldn’t divert attention away from what you’re trying to put across in a meeting.
Pro-tip: Avoid busy patterns like stripes and plaids. Not only are they highly distracting, but they also appear distorted on camera. When it comes to accessories, simplicity is the best. Avoid anything that makes noise with the slightest movement to minimise distractions! For most conference calls, feel free to wear whatever you want from the waist down — unless you think you might need to stand up for a reason.
From the Infinite Wardrobe: Cotton Blouse with Tied Sleeves by Massimo Dutti
From the Infinite Wardrobe: Argyle Shirt by PI’A
From the Infinite Wardrobe: Tati Tweed Fringe Jacket by Greylin
From the Infinite Wardrobe: Black Short Cotton Jacket by Charm
2. Test the technology ahead of time
Nothing kills the momentum at the start of a virtual meeting like a 15-minute tech delay. Find a quiet corner, and make sure your mic and camera is working at all times. If you do a lot of video conference calls, or if you’re a primary speaker in the call, consider investing in an external mic with high definition audio capabilities. After all, you want every word you say to be heard loud and clear!
Although often overlooked, good lighting is a big factor in creating a professional look during a video conference. We recommend sitting facing the window, desk lamp or other light sources whenever possible to ensure your face is well illuminated and clearly visible. However, be mindful that you should use the right amount of light to avoid overexposure!
3. Eliminate distractions
Less is more. Whether you’re at home or in a formal office, the first rule of thumb is to make sure your background is uncluttered. You may be fond of all those family pictures hanging on the wall but the person on the other end of the call may find them distracting. Having a clean, simple background makes sure that they focus on you and only you.
Also, if you have pets running around the house, or a loving mum who offers you fruits every now and then, close your door and let your family know you’re on a conference call. This will help to avoid any unpleasant or embarrassing situations!
4. Optimise meeting productivity
It’s hard to get people to pay attention in any meeting, but when people aren’t in the same room, it can be even more difficult. To solve this, try creating opportunities for voluntary engagement for your attendees.
In the first 60 seconds, set a clear objective and define a problem that can be solved quickly. Then, assign simple tasks to avoid your team members to unconsciously take the role of observer. If you’re a participant in the video conference, prepare yourself beforehand to ask relevant questions or contribute ideas during the meeting.
Not being able to work together in the same room with your teammates may become a major challenge for the next few weeks. But a small investment in preparedness now could have a huge impact on the difficult time to come. And if you’re feeling anxious over the uncertainties the situation may bring, remember that you’re not in this alone!