There’s nothing new about the remote staff and whole teams operating from home. Nonetheless, in extreme situations such as natural disasters or pandemics, several thousands of employees may be evacuated from usual workplace environments, staff, and managers immediately. Video conferencing could be an essential method for effectively keeping remote teams going when displaced. We’ve been seeing so many videos on social media these days going viral. These live video sessions went wrong due to some or other reason leaving the person embarrassed. To avoid such embarrassment, here are some tips for video conferencing like a pro. These tips will make your live sessions more efficient, effective, and even enjoyable if you’re new to working from home.
Use the app for video conferencing like a pro
There are so many apps that we use for video calling like WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. But if we talk about professional video meetings, you need something like Zoom or skype or hangouts. If you get an invitation to a video conference, go to the website or download the app if it’s one you’re not familiar with. Go through the process of starting a test meeting to ensure that the permits for videos and microphones are issued and that they fit with your setup. This will ensure that you are able to begin on time.
Avoid holding your camera with hands
Shaking cameras do interrupt. If the camera swings around or wobbles from a shaking table, viewers will end up turning their video feed off. Find a safe place to set and leave your camera, mobile phone, tablet, or laptop.
Check the camera angle and background
Don’t have the camera pointed at you, showing us a view of your nostrils, or turning it to the side so that your face is in profile when you look at your phone. Put the camera slightly above in front of you and angle down if you’re sitting down. Place it at eye level, if you are standing. Use a tripod or find a box or other way to lift the camera and try to position it as near as possible to being directly in front of you. Also, check the camera to ensure there’s no mess in the background. Make sure there is enough light to make the face brighter. Also, ensure the light is on the side not behind you.
Adjust your camera orientation according to the audience
If most people are watching you from a computer during your video meeting, ensure your camera is horizontal rather than vertical oriented. By doing so the video software will fill your slot on their screen with your image instead of adding black bars on the sides.
Remove audio distractions
Although video conferencing platforms do such an excellent job of filtering out signals that aren’t voices, it’s always a smart option to listen closely before signing in for any disturbing noise. Humming fans, rumbling TVs, or squeaking chairs are few sounds your microphone can pick up and make it hard for the person on the other side to get your voice. Try cutting off or isolating yourself from those noises. Keep your pets out, close the door and put a sign for “In a Meeting” on it so that people don’t knock. Try to keep your phone quiet!
Embrace the mute option to avoid embarrassment
There’s no need to mute your microphone if you’re having a conversation back and forth. But if you’re just listening in throughout the meeting, mute your mic. Hearing people typing, clicking, breathing, talking to someone else, would be really distracting for the presenter and all the others trying to listen. A mute button is a smart option if you’re at a place where lots of noise is coming in the background. It will block all the ambient noises on your end plus it’s friendly. When you start talking, remember to unmute it. Do not disturb when it comes to speaking up. If you have something to say, wait for a pause. Just raise your hand and wait for the presenter to give you the floor.
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Use dedicated headphones and mic
Firstly, it protects the audio from your microphone that comes from the speakers which help reduce echo and reverb. Secondly, it helps to keep your meeting private, if you’re around others. Not only can most work meetings normally be heard by those people who are invited to the meeting, but most participants also don’t want to connect to your video chat. While you are alone, you can use speakers otherwise it is recommended to use headphones. It will avoid you being distracted and focus on the meeting.
Each time you put the microphone close to your mouth, you’ll probably get better picked up. Even a dedicated mic helps prevent the picking up of unwanted background noises. You can buy a decent USB headset for around $25 which will sound much better than that on your laptop. The headphones that come with your smartphone usually have a built-in microphone that sits near the mouth and picks the voice quite well.
These are really very specific guidelines which naturally bend with the diverse cultures of the organization and the levels of importance of the meeting. So next time you go for a live session or meeting, follow these tips for video conferencing like a pro.