Work-from-home arrangements have become the norm for most of us these days because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re in a transitory period of moving operations online and doing meetings digitally, which could be challenging, especially for those who are not used to working remotely.
If you want to ensure you’re observing good video conferencing behaviour, here are critical key points to remember:
IF YOU’RE PARTICIPATING
Be early and be prepared
The core rules of online conferences aren’t as different as those meant for in-person meetings. This may be a basic reminder, but you have to log on earlier than the scheduled time for initial setups and tweaks you might have to do along the way.
Do proper checks on the following:
- Internet connection: Find the most stable connection at your place. If your Wi-Fi isn’t reliable, switch to mobile data.
- Platform and equipment: Familiarise yourself with the basics of the platform you’re using and always test if your camera, speakers, and microphone work.
If you can’t help being late to a meeting, however, inform others accordingly.
Know when to mute your mic
Even if you choose the most serene of locations, keep your mic on mute if you’re not talking. It’s the little distractions that derail a video call especially when others are speaking. If you decide to chime in, use visual cues, and speak loudly and distinctly.
Watch your body language
Be aware of your body language during a video call. Avoid doing work outside of the discussion and stay focused on the details of the meeting.
IF YOU’RE HOSTING
Have a clear agenda
There’s nothing more inconvenient than a meeting with no structure, so if you’re leading the call, make sure you’ve got a plan.
Hashtag Interactive Managing Partner & Chief Content Strategist Mina Sunico suggests that some standard operating procedures must be set beforehand, so you’re not stuck repeating the same instructions every time. This means agreeing on things like the tools you’re using or sending out a calendar invite that includes the agenda so participants can prepare.
“Be the host with the most,” Mina adds. More importantly, if you’re presenting, flesh out a deck or, use a virtual whiteboard like Miro, Stormboard, or Jamboard to make the most of the call.
Keep group calls small
Before organising anything, ask yourself, “Can this be done in an email?”
We want our meetings to be as productive as possible, so invite only the necessary people into calls. Remember: The bigger the group, the harder it is to give anyone time to speak and control things from going off tangent.
If there’s anything that the pandemic has highlighted, it is the fact that our ways of working have changed dramatically, in just a short time and video conferencing is proof that working remotely can work, provided we brush up on our virtual meeting manners.
You’ve got to start with updates. It’s crucial to keep things on track and sticking to the time constraints help with that. Additionally, always end meetings with relevant recaps of things that have been discussed.