It officially has been one whole year of working from home and having an enormous amount of virtual meetings. And as we hit the one-year mark, I got to thinking about how lucky we were with the tools we had today. Could you imagine if this happened back in 2007 when we all had flip phones?
Whether you kept your camera off the past year or were the organizer of virtual cocktail hours, we all share a similar experience with video conferencing. Let’s take a trip down memory lane on what we’ve learned this past year.
For some companies, it is mandatory to turn on your camera in every virtual meeting. When it is a meeting with many participants, it only makes sense for the presenters to have their cameras on. If you are giving the option in a small meeting, you should opt to turn them on!
Hey, I hate getting ready to work from home as much as the next person, wasting valuable makeup when no one sees you but your cat? ???? But it truly helps! Having your video on will ensure you stay engaged. When your camera is on, you are less likely to pick up your phone to scroll through social media or easily get sidetracked.
Before your virtual meetings, please take a minute to check that everything is working correctly. Ensure your camera is on, the quality of your image is up to par, and your lights are on. Just like your selfies, you should make sure your lighting is just right when video conferencing. Even with the best camera, your image may look grainy and unprofessional with poor lighting.
Do a quick test that your microphone and speakers are working correctly. If you are using a headset, ensure it is connected, and the settings reflect this option. Finally, make sure you have a strong internet or signal! The last thing you want is to have everything working and the meeting drop.
When you work in an office, you can get up and move around from your desk to the boardroom to a coworker’s office. You can have your meetings spread out to change the scenery. Even simple trips to the bathroom or to get more coffee force you to get up, stretch your legs and get moving.
Working from home doesn’t offer that luxury. Video conferencing is tiring, and when you book back-to-back meetings, it can feel like you are chained to your desk. You are only a few steps away from the bathroom and coffee maker at home, which doesn’t exactly offer the same ‘break’ effect as it would in the office. Make sure you allocate time in between meetings to decompress and avoid burning out or what they are calling ‘Zoom Fatigue.’
Chances are, your video conferencing software is going to come with additional features. Features like chat, record, and screen sharing. When you present slides, a document, or review anything you would usually provide a handout for, use screen share.
If you simply provide the link to the doc or PDF file, the participants will not follow along properly. They may read ahead or not even open it! Provide the information and also share your screen. By doing both, you cover all your bases and drive your points home with a more engaged audience.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “sorry, I was on mute!” or “please mute your microphone,” I would be rich! Make sure you are muting yourself because it is a lot easier to hit the ‘unmute’ button than to be the employee who is making weird noises. A good tip is to enable the option of automatically being muted when you join a meeting.
Speaking of hitting the unmute button, you really should stay on top of that! When it happens often, it looks like you are not paying attention. When your employees see your mouth moving and hands gesturing, they start to think they have an issue on their end if they can’t hear you.
There are thousands of reasons why you would need to connect with users outside of your organization. Interviews, customer meetings, training, webinars, you name it! These are just some of the reasons you would invite external people from your organization to a video conference. Having the ability to provide your solution to users to meet virtually is hugely beneficial! Not to mention it is a free way to advertise your product. ?
Even if our experiences were not all the same, one thing is sure. Video conferencing is here to stay! Now that employees are back in the office (or at least starting the process), virtual meetings are still happening daily. Companies realize they can save thousands of dollars on travel expenses by limiting the number of in-person meetings. They also are reaping the benefits of tapping into new talent pools and potential customers beyond their geographical restrictions.
What have been your main takeaways from the video conference era? If we have learned anything, it is always to wear pants or end up like Reeve from Good Morning America!
If you are looking for a video conferencing solution to sell that offers additional benefits, take a look at gloCOM Meeting. If you want to learn more about Bicom Systems products and partner program, visit our website here.
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