We live in a virtual world, and with more and more companies opening up to remote work opportunities, video conferencing is gaining popularity. But what do you need to do in order to have a successful video conference with your teammates, clients, or management team? Here are five quick tips for better video conferences:
1. Log in before you get coffee.
Impressions are important, and if you’re running late to a meeting, you look junior and disorganized. Make sure you’re on top of things, and get online early (even if you have to run out quickly to grab another cup of Joe from the breakroom).
“Instead, you want to log in first, then go get your coffee,” said Bill Hoogterp, a presentation coach at Own The Room, a communication skills training company.
2. Hit “unmute” and brief, open questions.
Don’t be afraid to politely interject with a question every now and then. It can be intimidating to interrupt the speaker, but if you’re confused about something, chances are other people are confused as well.
“Let’s say something is unclear and everyone’s confused,” said Hoogterp, “the boss doesn’t know it.”
So, when you ask pointed questions to get more clarification on something, you’re not only helping yourself, but you’re also helping the speaker and the group.
3. Be front-lit, not back-lit.
When the light is behind you, it hides all of your features. You want your face to be well-lit, so it’s important to have a light in front of you and behind the computer so no one sees it.
4. Dominate the screen.
Want to appear more senior? Fill the video frame with your face.
“I can tell how senior most people are just by where they are on the screen,” said Hoogterp.
According to Hoogterp, you want to position the screen so you’re just cutting off the top of your head. That’s how you dominate the screen and appear to be more senior.
5. Be counter-intuitive.
If you want to have better video conferences, you need to be counter-intuitive, according to Hoogterp. Don’t just make great statements, ask great questions that force people to engage. For example, start the video conference by announcing that you’re going to “do something a little different today.” Then, ask them to use the chatbox feature in your video conference when voicing a concern or asking a question.