Basic Tips for Successful Videoconferences
With today’s high-paced demands on reporting companies and attorneys to complete their depositions and other meetings yesterday it is crucial to follow proper protocols on creating and completing a successful videoconference.
What to Do
Do: Look professional. This means paying attention to your hair, clothing, background and posture. Wear appropriate professional clothing from head to toe in case you need to move or stand up. Don’t fall into the temptation that you can get away with a dress shirt and wear shorts or go barefoot. It’s best to take it straight and formal all the way.
Do: Turn off or mute your microphone when you are not speaking. This is a truism even if you are alone in the room since background or atmospheric noise, interruptions or phone calls can be distracting to others.
Do: Be sure to test your lighting and adjust it accordingly for each speaker. Nothing is worse than having a poorly-lit person on tape or in the middle of a conversation. It can compromise the quality of the final document and the experience. Avoid cast shadows and extreme angles.
Do: Be aware of your settings for audio and video. Make sure your microphone is turned on and off at appropriate times and the basics like power cords and other settings are where they should be. Be sure also to fully charge all equipment beforehand.
Do: Construct an appropriate backdrop and be conscious of your surroundings in the camera frame. Avoid clutter on your desk and don’t use a window with daylight pouring in as a background. Avoid gaudy paintings or dross in the frame. The simpler the better. You are the star, not your office or your kid’s art collection.
Do: Look directly into the camera when speaking. Avoid looking at the side or above/below the camera. It gets distracting and lessens the strength of your message when viewers think your attention is focused elsewhere.
Don’t: Get distracted! Pay attention to the camera and the flow. Do not check your email or speak to anyone outside the frame/camera.
Don’t: Allow other devices to go off as you are speaking. Be sure to turn off the sound on your computer notifications, smartphone, phones and faxes. The background noises are distracting!
Don’t: Get too emotional or over-active in your presentation. Stay cool, calm and collected. Stay focused and your message will be clearer and received better.