Tips for Better Video Conferencing Part 1: In the Office
Not too long ago, the clients a firm worked with were mostly limited to their geographic location. A firm might work with a few clients on a long-distance basis, but the need to exchange paper meant it wasn’t really practical to have a client base spread out across the country. Now, technology has eliminated the barriers to working with remote clients, and video conferencing allows firms to stay connected with “face-to-face” communication no matter where they’re located.
That’s great, but some people find chatting in a video conference uncomfortable. From worrying about how you’ll look to dealing with outside distractions and technical difficulties, it can be hard to relax and focus on the conversation.
Today we’re sharing some tips for better video conferencing in the office.
Think of the video conference as a window into your office. What do you want them to see? Paper piled haphazardly and your collection of dirty coffee cups? Probably not. A minimal background is always better. If you can, sit in front of a blank wall or perhaps one painted with your company color and a logo. If that’s not possible, just some tasteful artwork as a backdrop works well.
If you’re using a webcam clipped to the top of your monitor, the camera may be angled down too much. This makes the other participants feel like they’re towering over you. Ideally, the camera should be at eye level. You can purchase an inexpensive camera tripod if necessary to help you achieve the right camera height.
Unfortunately, the fluorescent lighting that prevails in most offices is not ideal for video as overhead lighting creates shadows under your eyes. Natural light is best, preferably coming from behind your camera. Don’t sit with a window to your back during the call or you’ll be a dark shadow while the scenery outside is crystal clear.
Avoid having your meeting interrupted by co-workers. Create an “On Air” sign for your office or conference room door so people won’t barge in.
Have everything you need for the meeting ready and in front of you. Nobody wants to spend precious minutes of their day watching you fumble around looking for information or squinting at the screen while you try to locate an email or file.
Test your equipment
Test your video conferencing software and hardware well in advance of the meeting to make sure everything is operating well. Familiarize yourself with the software so you know how to mute, adjust volume, share your screen and use any other features you may need to take advantage of during the conference.
People better remember what they see as opposed to what they hear. Invest a little time and effort to ensure your video conferences leave clients with a lasting impression of your professionalism and polish!
This is Part 1 in a four-part series on better video conferencing. Stay tuned for more tips for video conferencing from home and while on the road as well as tips for looking good on camera.
As the Marketing Manager for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Heather’s primary focus is on developing the firm’s marketing strategy and brand awareness to help drive business results. She manages and executes marketing and business development initiatives, with daily oversight of the website, social media, and thought leadership content. In addition, as a part of the Business Development team, she provides leadership and strategic planning on marketing and communication practices for the firm.