Advice to hold a successful online video conference or meeting

people on a video call
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The popularity of video conferencing has been consistently growing over recent years but experienced a meteoric rise through the recent Coronavirus pandemic. With populations forced to stay at home through isolation measures, remote-working for staff became the norm through COVID making companies rely more and more on cloud networks and, in particular, video conferencing systems to stay in touch with staff.

While we all hope the worst of the virus might be behind us with the continuing global vaccination program, it seems highly likely that some form of distancing will persist through the coming year. Moreover, many industry analysts believe the virus has caused a fundamental step-change in both employee and employer attitudes to the traditional idea of office-based 9-5 work – meaning video conferencing will probably be with us for some time yet.

Tips to make your video conferences run smoother

If your firm has moved to online conferencing, here are a few tips you can employ to guarantee your meetings go as smoothly as possible.

Ensure you’re familiar with the software before use

As with so many other areas of life, there’s no substitute for preparedness, so spend time familiarizing yourself with the various functions of your video conferencing app before your first meeting. You might even want to do a trial run with a friend to be sure you know how it works.

Make sure you jot down notes

If you’re unfamiliar with speaking in a video conferencing environment, it can be all-too-easy to stray off onto other subjects and lose track of your key discussion points. You should note down exactly the areas you want to go through beforehand to ensure you stay on track.

Send out a summary of the key points you want to discuss

Working remotely is significantly different from being in the same office as your team and having the chance for constant updates from colleagues. To guarantee that everyone is up to speed with what you’re hoping to achieve from your meeting, you should send out a summary and meeting agenda to let your staff prepare in advance.

Make sure everyone is set up with the same video platform

There’s little point in sending out email invitations to a live meeting unless you’re sure everyone is using the same software. Agree beforehand which system you intend to host the meeting on. Popular platforms include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, etc.

Cater for everyone

Depending on the size of your organization, you may well be speaking to multiple colleagues in many different countries. If you’re in any doubt about the language or hearing abilities of any of your team, you should consider offering subtitles or captions to keep everyone up to speed. For example, including Zoom live captioning in your conference will allow everyone to see a text version of what’s being said – plus can also be used to generate a transcribed record of your meeting when you’re done.

Choose a place with an appropriate background

Few of us are particularly used to the new practice of video conferencing, so if you’re using a laptop or similar mobile device, make sure you choose a place with an appropriate background.

Dress well

Through COVID, we’ve all heard those stories of people wearing a shirt or blouse up top and pyjama bottoms under the desk. However, if you want to be top of your game, you should make an effort to dress appropriately and treat your online meeting just as you would one in real life. Also, you don’t know if you might need to stand up during the conference, so it’s better to be sure and dress well.

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About Annabel Johnson

Part time gamer, reviewer and blogger. Full time geek and tech expert!

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