Video conferencing solutions give you an opportunity to do much more than you could when you were confined to audio conferencing. Unified communications systems such as the ones found within Saxons’ IT solutions open up a whole new world of interactivity for you, your team, your clients and a host of other stakeholders.
Want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the tools available to you? Here are seven tips for conducting an efficient video conference.
- Test it out
We’ll get to the content of your video conference soon, but you need to make sure the technical side of your operation is ready to roll. If you have time, test out the system before each and every conference you have. Also, don’t put off getting new cables or replacing batteries and other video conferencing equipment. All of a sudden it’ll be time to start chatting with an important client and you’ll be out of luck.
- Beware the background
If you want to hit all of your checkpoints by the end of your video conference, you can’t afford to have too many hiccups along the way. That means you’ll want to control as much of the environment as possible. Be conscious of windows behind you that lead out to public areas whether they be outside your building or around the office. Having to close blinds in the middle of a conference or losing the focus of the person with which you’re speaking due to activity going on behind you could turn your important topics into little more than white noise.
- Create a roadmap
Speaking of video conference checkpoints, plan out how you want time to be spent so you make sure you get to all the relevant points. Try to include time for things that aren’t official business, such as catching up with the client, breaks etc. Also pad each section with a few extra minutes in case some things go long.
- Get everybody involved
No matter what type of meeting you’re having, just talking at somebody is not a great strategy. When you’re conducting a video conference, not engaging members of the conversation can be even more dangerous, as your physical distance from those on the other side of the call can keep you from picking up on physical cues that might help you realise others are losing interest. Try to keep asking questions or encouraging involvement and feedback from others in the meeting. This way they’ll stay engaged longer and you won’t have to worry about them missing the key points of your virtual meeting.
- Do the hard work beforehand
Knowing the content of your presentation front and back will give you a better chance of being able to be more mentally present in the video conference. Instead of picking through notes, you’ll give off a sense of confidence. This confidence will help you speak slower and give you a better chance to field questions on the fly.
- Mind the mute button
One of the most common stumbling blocks of a video conference is people trying to talk over each other, or at least thinking that is the case. If you think there is going to be a period of a few minutes where you won’t need to speak, don’t be afraid to hit the mute button. That way any paper shuffling, throat clearing and other random noises won’t put off whomever else is speaking. If you need to jump in, all you have to do is unmute yourself.
- Maintain eye contact
Besides being an everyday common courtesy in conversation, maintaining eye contact during web conferencing helps ensure the mind of whomever you’re speaking to won’t wander. If your eyes are darting all over the place or you’re looking at something else (God forbid it’s your phone!), the person with whom you’re speaking will wonder what’s important enough to steal your attention. This can lead to them tuning out or, worse, becoming frustrated that you’re wasting their time.
Video conferencing solutions are an excellent way to share information and ideas with the various stakeholders involved in the different parts of your business. But they can also be a bit of a minefield. Keep these tips in mind to make sure you’re optimising your video conferences. Think the rest of your team would benefit from a crash course in web conference dos and don’ts? Rent a Saxons training room and take an afternoon to hammer out some best practices for your organisation.