Video Conferencing Tips
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, we're nearly all learning to work remotely these days. For some people, like me, this has been the normal routine for years, but if you are new to remote work, and accustomed to only seeing your colleagues face to face, it can be overwhelming.
Video conferencing is especially stressful for some, as the thought of being on camera is unnerving. To help put you at ease, here are a few simple tips to help your next video conference go smoothly.
Think through where you will be when you are on the conference. Pick a location that will be free from distracting background noises — kids, pets, phones ringing. Turn off the TV, computer, and/or iPad.
Be sure the area is free of visual distractions (clutter). Don't set up in front of an embarrassing mess. Carefully consider what is in the background. Make the background interesting, but not distracting.
Hang a “do not disturb” sign on your office door - if you are lucky enough to have a private office, of course. Let anyone who will be nearby know that you will be on a conference and should not be interrupted.
Test your technical setup before the video conference starts. Make sure you have Internet connectivity and that your webcam and microphone are working. You may also have to download the software if it is the first time you are using the application.
While testing your technology, check your setup. Do you need more light? How is the camera angle? Practice where to sit so you are framed correctly by the webcam.
Look at the webcam when you speak, not at your screen. When you look into the camera, it appears to the other participants that you are looking at them directly.
Consider using a USB-connected headset for an interview instead of the computer’s built in mic and speakers. Headsets reduce background noise, are inexpensive, and can provide a much clearer experience.
If possible, use a wired Internet connection (plug directly into the Ethernet port) instead of using a wireless connection.
Turn off notifications on your computer and close your other software programs. You do not want to be distracted by beeps every time you receive an email.
Don’t be too quick to answer. There is often a delay or interference with video calls, so make sure you pause before answering a question to avoid talking over the other participants.
Be on time. Ensure you are ready when the scheduled time arrives.
And finally, have a glass of water nearby in case your throat gets dry.