5 Tips To Master Virtual Meetings

As the initial shock of the coronavirus quarantine is settling in we’re all learning how best to work from home. While integrating new tools into our routines, we’re all going to be looking at our colleagues through a screen a lot more often and having plenty of Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts meetings over the next few weeks. 

Maximize your calls by following these tips to becoming a pro at video conferencing. 

1. Make yourself presentable. 

Don’t pull a Hugh Hefner! We actually had a client that didn’t know she was on live video and spent the entire meeting reclined on her bed in her pajamas, exposed. Not a good career move. When working from home, still treat it like the office. Get out of bed and get yourself dressed, ready to look the part each day. 

2. Find a good backdrop. 

No one wants to hop on a call with you only to be staring at a dark screen or your chin. Walk around your house and test where you can sit that has the best lighting and a tidy background. Feel like you don’t have any great options? Zoom has a “virtual background” option that you can set from the Zoom app on your laptop. Set yourself up in a place that has good video and sound quality to ensure a good experience for people on both sides of the camera.  

Elevate your camera and get it out from under your chin. With all this video conferencing and getting up close to HD cameras every day, we’re going to become all too familiar with our wrinkles and double chins. My guess is that after this virus cosmetic surgeries are going to skyrocket and we’ll all look amazing for next year’s virus! 

3. Get rid of distractions and background noise (the kids and the dog). 

We get it, you’re stuck at home and so are your kids. Truth is, we all are. But try your best to eliminate noise and distractions during your meetings. It’s not cute if the dog is barking loudly in the background or your kid runs into the room 5 times during the meeting. Find a quiet space (preferably with a door) where you can conduct your meetings without any unwanted distractions or try wearing a pair of headphones to curb background noise. Make sure the people in your home know when you’re working so you’re not disturbed. Communicating boundaries when working from home is crucial. 

4. Don’t be shy. Enable the camera feature! 

If you made yourself presentable and are in good lighting with a good backdrop, then you shouldn’t have a problem turning your camera on during the call! When people are craving interaction and connection more than ever, leverage your ability to meet with people (virtually) face-to-face and enable your camera function. Build and maintain your relationships, even when you’re online. 

5. Become a pro at using video conferencing software. 

How many times have you been in a meeting and the first 5 minutes of the call are wasted because someone is having a hard time entering the meeting or doesn’t know their camera and microphone are turned off while they’re speaking? Practice using the video software beforehand or log onto the call early to test your camera. Be prepared before your next important call. 

As everyone is adjusting to working remotely, maximize the time that you have with your colleagues by mastering the video conference call. Treat your virtual meetings like real meetings by considering your surroundings, looking the part, and coming prepared.

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