How to Make Your Video Meetings More Professional
As a business owner, you know how quickly technology can change everything. As the global economy continues to become more accessible, businesses are finding ways to operate in the world.
If you had a clothing store twenty years ago, you serviced your community. Today, you can have customers in the USA and Asia at the same time. We are growing for a new economy and future.
Video meetings are becoming more essential each day.
Companies are outsourcing more every year; one recent statistic reporting that $75.2 billion was spent globally on it.
As great talent is more accessible all over the world, and with recent historical health concerns like the COVID-19, remote work is becoming more popular.
Video meetings create opportunities for great communication and remove obstacles of growth for companies all over the world.
How many times have you been in a situation where the video meeting seems to be an obstacle rather than a solution? Executing a video conference the wrong way can harm your business and waste a lot of time. With the right steps, you can make sure you fully utilize the advantages of video meetings and avoid common mistakes.
Here are some ways you can make your video meetings more professional.
Use a Neutral Background
The goal of video meetings is to make a professional environment to easily communicate the projects and operations of the business.
Have you ever had a meeting with a background that seems distracting? Maybe the person you are speaking to has a cluttered wall or a cat is crawling on a shelf. These things can hinder the effectiveness of a meeting. By preparing ahead of time, you can make sure common distractions can be solved before they become a problem.
Great backgrounds are neutral. Try to find a blank wall. If not, a window that doesn’t blind the camera or a neatly organized bookshelf works too. You want something that looks nice but does not demand the attention from the members in the meetings.
These days, tools like Zoom provide a feature where you can add one of their backgrounds virtually.
Utilize Your Computer or Laptop
Most video apps can be used on your phone. It’s tempting to use it that way, but it can come with a few problems. If you are holding it, the video isn’t very stable. And if you need to take notes electronically, you’ll have a hard time keeping it still while also getting a good angle of your face.
Computers and laptops are the best way to video conference. It’s stable and you can research, take notes, and use relevant resources during the meeting.
If using your phone is important to you, consider investing in a tripod. There are plenty of great smartphone tripods on Amazon you could choose from. It will keep your phone steady and give you more options for angles and placements. You will have to take notes on a separate device but the quality of your video will be good.
Dress Your Best
If you are in a remote meeting at the actual workplace, you have probably already dressed appropriately. But if you work from a home office or in a relaxed setting, it can be tempting to wear anything comfortable and skip hygiene steps you would normally take. But these things are noticeable.
You can wear casual clothing, but make sure it looks presentable and nice. Your hair, grooming, and other aspects will be seen in the video as well.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of a more casual setting, try picking solid color shirts. A (not wrinkled) black t-shirt is simple but with the color, it looks clean and sharp. If you want to look more dressed up, a solid-colored button-down shirt is good. Anything more than that depends on your industry and its expectations. In tech, you can wear a t-shirt; in the accounting industry, it might not be accepted just yet.
The way you present yourself represents your business and brand. Dress comfortably but also for the best. When people see that you are serious, they'll treat you seriously too.
Do you have experience using your video tool? If you already do, do you spend time making sure the camera angle and your work setup is ready for the meeting? All these things can save you time, awkward mishaps, and make you look more professional.
About a half-hour ahead, try to set up your area, background, and everything you need for the meeting. Then test it out. Try calling another device or a family member to make sure your camera and audio is working. Generally, you can see yourself too without having to call anyone.
Taking these steps helps avoid looking unprepared. It also gives you the opportunity for troubleshooting.
A focused, results-based meeting is essential for any business. Part of a successful video conference is all about simplifying your surroundings and eliminating any potential for distractions.
Try to avoid multitasking. It is distracting if you are opening other windows on your computer or texting on your phone while someone is speaking to you.
Remember the BBC Dad? While on a meeting with the news network in his home office, a child opened the door. The mother rushed in on her knees to try to avoid being seen with the camera. She dragged the child back in and closed the door. The interviewer paused the interview and pointed out the scene. It was a funny moment, going viral to this day. But it’s also a reminder how an entire video call can change course in one moment.
Distractions also refer to anything physical in your office space. This could mean any unnecessary noise coming from your office or through the door. Try to find ways to mitigate possible disruptions.
Consider soundproofing your room. Whether the noise is coming in, or if there is an echo, both can cause distractions. Many choose to put carpet for flooring or soundproofing materials on the walls.
Establish Good Lighting
Lighting is essential to a good video meeting. When a professional cannot see your face, or if there is a bright light causing the picture to fade, it can affect the quality of your meeting.
Make sure to pick an area where some sunlight is coming from the window. Turn the lights on in the room so that you can be seen.
If you have ever been in a video call with someone with a dark screen, you quickly see why good lighting is important. A bad video can be distracting and any advantages you would normally have won't be of use.
A great way to test the quality of your lighting is to check it out on your test run. Take screenshots of your video. Review them afterward. Is it balanced or noticeably off? Try different angles and different areas in the room to establish the best lighting and spot.
When you are evaluating the lighting from your window, try to make sure the window isn't directly in the shot of your video. It can take the neutrality away from your background but more importantly, depending on the time of day, it could have too much sunlight coming in which would blind a portion of your screen.
Notifications can throw anyone off. Think of your phone, email or anything that would make noise during the call. The easiest thing to forget is the notifications on your computer. Have you ever been in a video call when all of sudden right when the next hour hits, businesses with automatic emails start pouring into your inbox? One after the other, you hear notifications going through.
Your phone can be put on silent or night time mode. Depending on the computer, you also have options to silence incoming notifications.
By shutting out any possible alerts that would go through, you ensure a professional video meeting for your business.
When it’s all set and done, the most important part of a video conference call is being confident. At first, starting to get used to video meetings can be difficult. It feels awkward. You might not like what you look like on camera. It might seem odd without the physical interactions you might get like when shaking a hand or reading the people in front of you in close settings.
But all it takes is a confident spirit to overcome getting used to video calling. When you are confident, you create a professional experience and you become a credible expert and leader in the meeting.
The best way to increase your confidence is through preparation, following these steps, and a positive outlook.
Video meetings are an incredible way to connect with your team, clients, and partners. You are no longer limited to geography. If you need more talent, the talent pool is limitless. More clients? You have the world. And any partners or vendors can be communicated with all across the globe.
When we utilize video calling, we multiply our opportunities.
When video calling, it's important to make it professional and productive. When we follow these steps to make videos full of quality and effectiveness, we ensure a great experience.