How to Conduct a Video Conference Call and Tips on Conference Call Etiquette
You’ve graduated past the 101 beginner class of video conferencing — you have the video conferencing equipment and technology you need, and you’ve experienced firsthand the benefits of meeting over video. Now it’s time to learn the art, the etiquette and the masterful craft of making those video calls successful for every future video chat. Here are some tips and tricks for conducting a successful video conference call in 2019.
What is a video conference call?
A video conference call is an online meeting that combines live video feeds from a webcam with a screen sharing solution to enable group collaboration. Video conference calls allow remote meeting participants to conduct more meaningful face-to-face conversations without having to rely on travel for productive in-person meetings.
10 Tips for a productive video conference call
1. Keep it concise
Allow me to reference Occam’s razor to illustrate this rule: “The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.” That means keep your video calls short and sweet. Everyone has schedules that are jam-packed these days, and frivolous conversation not only is unproductive and time-consuming but can also be extremely frustrating.
2. Be prepared for the meeting
There’s nothing worse than going to a meeting without any context clues and having the presenter walk in late and shuffle around because they weren’t ready. Make a meeting agenda in advance, send it out to your attendees and stick to it throughout the call. Not only does it help with productivity and efficiency, it’ll also set the tone for the meeting and give others time to prepare their questions and contributions so the conversation can keep going outside of the meeting room.
3. Utilize visuals to enhance participant interest
Visuals are a great way to keep a meeting interesting and fresh. You can wirelessly screen share applications, PowerPoint™ presentations, videos, charts, graphs and anything else for real-time collaboration.
4. Record the video conference for absent colleagues
Unfortunately, quick projects and last-minute deadlines can pop up unexpectedly throughout the workday. So it’s important to record your video call so that late or absent colleagues can tune in later at their convenience to catch up on the information.
5. Optimize the conference room for video
Many organizations have shifted toward more “open plan” offices and are investing in HD video conferencing technology in every sized meeting room around the office. Smaller rooms like huddle rooms should prioritize a wide-angle field of view, while large rooms can benefit from dual-screen setups that let you view video participants on one screen while sharing a presentation on the other.
6. Minimize distractions
This may seem obvious, but it is important to make sure that everyone is focused on the meeting at hand and not on other distracting tasks.Treat your video meetings as if they were in-person meetings. If you are sharing your screen with the other participants, try to disable pop-up notifications and close other programs like chat, calendar notifications and e-mail. Businesses that use video conferencing report fewer instances of multitasking in meetings, resulting in shorter meeting times.
7. Don’t forget to be yourself
We’re well past video conferencing being solely used for quarterly boardroom meetings with your executive team — it has transformed into a daily way of communicating face to face. Just like texting, talking on the phone or walking over to your colleague’s desk and chatting in person, the video conferencing experience is about what’s being discussed. So don’t fret when it comes to getting on camera — just be yourself!
8. Keep meetings right-sized
The more people there are on a call, the more confusing and distracting things can be. Fewer people mean higher collaboration and increased participation. Of course, if you are having a company-wide meeting, invite everyone to join the live stream and record it for those who can't make the live event.
9. Double-check your settings
While video conference calling just takes one click of a button now, it never hurts to double-check your settings and make sure your audio and camera are correctly configured. That way, if you have an external monitor with a built-in camera, you can adjust accordingly.
10: Use common courtesy
Because video collaboration is just like an in-person interaction, it is important to use the same courtesy you would use if you were in the same room. This includes paying attention to the speaker, minimizing multitasking and refraining from interrupting. Though this may seem obvious, good manners can take you far when building business relationships.
Six things to consider when choosing a video conference call app
1. Call reliability
Make sure your video conferencing service provider is built on a reliable and resilient network that has the global availability to meet your business’s unique needs.
2. Video quality
Don’t settle for anything less than amazing for your mission-critical communication. Perfectly tuned audio and 4K video make you feel like you’re in the same room, even if you’re connecting from thousands of miles away.
3. Ease of use
Choose a solution that integrates with your corporate directory for an easy way to connect with colleagues, but also make sure the solution supports guest calling for meeting with customers and partners outside of your organization, too.
4. Wireless screen sharing
Instantly transform your video call into a collaborative working session by sharing your screen or presentation. That way you can cooperate on a document in addition to communicating face to face.
5. Customer support
Who do you call if something breaks? A business-class solution must be backed by support within meaningful response times. Choose a solution that will support you throughout the life of the service.
6. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Support for PC or Mac, tablet and smartphone (Android or iOS) and browser-based calling is essential. BYOD is here to stay — for the best adoption, find a solution that integrates with all of the devices your team loves to use.