7 Tips For Acing Your Next Video Meeting
It’s been reported that in one week in March, business video meeting apps experienced an eye-watering 62 million downloads worldwide. Overall, the weekly download rate of video meeting apps in general is up 90% on the figure for the same time last year, indicating the exceptional rate that these apps are being adopted by businesses across the world.
In the likelihood that (if you’re still working) you’re going to have to take part in a video meeting at some point, here are 7 tips for acing your next video meeting.
1. Mute yourself when you aren’t contributing
It’s good video call etiquette to mute yourself when you’re aren’t speaking in the meeting. This will help to prevent background noise distracting the other participants in the call and will keep the connection free of feedback – that high-pitched, screechy sound that everyone on a video call dreads.
Background noise can come from the strangest places – sometimes you might not even be aware that it’s a problem – until you hear the tortured groans of colleagues at the receiving end of it.
If you aren’t using headphones, one of the key contributors to background noise can be your computer’s own microphone, picking up on the people speaking and creating an echo-effect.
Muting yourself when you’re not speaking is a good way to eliminate the risk of this happening.
2. Plan your location
Lighting and setting can have a big impact on the quality of your video meeting for your participants. If you’re sat with your back directly to a window, streaming with sunlight, you’re probably going not going to be the most popular person in the video call – any time somebody looks at you they’ll have to stare into the sun!
At the other end of the spectrum, sitting somewhere with not enough light can also cause problems, as well as sitting against certain types of backgrounds.
Planning your location ahead of the meeting is the best way to avoid mishaps like this. Find somewhere that has good natural light but is out of direct sunlight.
3. Check your internet
A slow internet connection can make or break a video call. There’s nothing more frustrating in a call than trying to piece together what someone is saying when their signal keeps cutting in and out.
Internet speed is measured in megabits per second (mbps) and you’ll usually need a connection speed between 1 to 4 Mbps to be able to video conference successfully.
Luckily, there are ways to check the quality of your signal ahead of time, so you can minimise the risk of disruption. You can check your signal online, at sites like https://www.broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk/ or https://broadbandtest.which.co.uk/.
If you do have a bad signal, there are a few things you can do to improve its performance:
- Password-protecting your Wi-Fi connection can stop unauthorised people from using it, slowing down your own speed.
- Moving your router to an area that’s better placed to get a signal can help to boost the speed.
- Asking other people in the household to not use the internet for streaming or downloading files, whilst you’re on a call, can help improve your signal overall.
4. Test your video and audio ahead of time
Mishaps and malfunctions with your video and audio can spell disaster for even the most professionally conducted video calls. Sometimes disaster might hit in the middle of a meeting – in these situations, there’s nothing you can really do apart from contacting someone involved in the call and explaining the situation to them.
The vast majority of problems with video and audio not connecting can be sorted ahead of time by checking your settings through a test run. Logging in to the platform and testing your settings in advance of a meeting can help you iron out any issues ahead of time.
Most video platforms will have advice on how to test your settings before a call. Here’s advice for some of the most common ones:
5. Be on time and follow normal meeting ettiquette
Just because a meeting is taking place virtually it doesn’t mean that the normal meeting etiquette goes out of the window. It’s still expected that you should follow the unwritten rules of meetings, the first one of which is to turn up on time!
Avoid checking your phone whilst the meeting’s on, or pretending to pay attention when you’re actually knees deep down a Wikipedia wormhole. Online meetings demand the same level of professionalism that you’d expect in any other meeting.
6. Dress in an appropriate way
It’s tempting to just stay in your pyjamas all day when you’re working from home. And that’s completely fine – under ordinary circumstances, your boss probably won’t mind what you’re wearing as long as you get your work done to a high standard. But that allowance changes when it comes to important online meetings.
Treat video calls just the same as you would any other meeting – that means wearing something appropriate.
Admittedly, you could probably get away with just wearing business attire on your top half and your pyjamas on the bottom half, if you really wanted to. After all, people will only really be seeing your face and not your whole body. But you’d be surprised at the great psychological effects of making the effort to dress up for something – it can really help improve your focus and attitude in the meeting.
7. Don’t get gatecrashed by kids and pets
As the old TV saying goes, ‘Be careful when you’re working with children or animals’. The same sentiment holds true for when you’re taking part in a video call. As adorable as they can be, children and pets can often accidentally interrupt your proceedings and derail the progress of a meeting.
If you can, try to arrange childcare from someone else in the household whilst you’re on the video call. If not, explain the situation to the other participants in the call ahead of time so that they know what to expect if Tiddles the cat comes stomping across your keyboard.
We hope you feel a little more prepared for your next video call after reading this blog. Take these tips on board and you’ll be well on your way towards acing it!
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