Tips for Better Video Conferencing Part 2: Home Offices
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 from a home office.
In a prior installment, I recommended thinking a video conference as a window into your office. The advice is doubly important when working from home. No matter how knowledgeable you are, if there are piles of unfolded laundry behind you, the domestic scene will detract from your words. If you use video conferencing often, arrange your home office to display an uncluttered, professional background in your videos. If this is a challenge, invest in seamless paper like professional photographers use in their studios.
Who can forget the viral video that made the rounds earlier this year when Professor Robert Kelly’s adorable kids crashed his BBC News interview? It was a scenario many work-from-home parents are familiar with, but no doubt mortifying to Kelly in the moment. If your kids are at home too young to heed a Do Not Disturb notice on your office door, invest in a sitter and a lock on your office door. Likewise, keep pets out of the room to prevent barking, scratching, or a cat walking across the keyboard.
A headset is not the most fashionable look, but it will improve the quality of your sound immensely. Without it, the sound coming from your computer speakers may create feedback and people will hear you and what is being projected from your speakers simultaneously. You don’t have to look like a call-center employee – there are all kinds of options, from earbuds with a mic attached to Bluetooth earpieces that connect wirelessly to your computer.
Test your equipment
We mentioned this in the last installment, but it bears repeating. Test your software and hardware well in advance of the meeting to make sure everything is operating well. Familiarize yourself with the controls so you know how to mute, adjust volume, share your screen, etc. 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 2 in a four-part series on better video conferencing. Stay tuned for more tips for video conferencing 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.