As video calls have become an integral part of remote work, online learning, and staying connected with loved ones, it’s essential to make them as effective as possible. Whether you’re conducting business meetings or catching up with friends and family, here are three tips for more effective video calls:
Set Up Your Environment:
Choose a Suitable Location: Select a quiet and well-lit space for your video calls. Minimize background noise and distractions to maintain focus. Use a plain and uncluttered background or consider using a virtual background if necessary.
Check Lighting: Good lighting is crucial for a clear and professional appearance. Position yourself facing a natural light source, such as a window, or use soft, diffused artificial lighting. Avoid having a bright light source behind you, which can create shadows and make you appear dark.
Camera Angle: Position your camera at eye level or slightly above. This angle is the most flattering and helps maintain eye contact with participants. Avoid looking down at the camera, which can create an unflattering perspective.
Test Your Equipment: Before the call, ensure your camera, microphone, and speakers/headphones are working correctly. Test your internet connection to prevent disruptions during the call. Use a wired connection when possible for better stability.
Prepare and Communicate Effectively:
Create an Agenda: For business or formal meetings, create an agenda to guide the discussion. Share the agenda with participants in advance to ensure everyone is prepared and the meeting stays on track.
Mute When Not Speaking: If you’re not speaking, keep your microphone muted to reduce background noise. Unmute when you want to contribute to the conversation. This helps maintain audio clarity and minimizes distractions.
Engage Actively: Stay engaged by actively participating in the conversation. Make eye contact with the camera, nod, and use nonverbal cues to show you’re listening. Avoid multitasking or being distracted by other screens or notifications.
Use Screen Sharing Wisely: When sharing your screen, ensure that only the relevant content is visible. Even if you are utilizing screen sharing to showcase elements of the WhatsApp chatbot, exercise discretion. Close unrelated tabs or apps to avoid sharing sensitive or unnecessary information. Communicate clearly while screen sharing to guide participants through the content.
Maintain Professionalism and Etiquette:
Dress Appropriately: Dress as you would for an in-person meeting or event, taking into account the formality of the occasion. Dressing professionally helps convey respect for the call and the participants.
Limit Background Noise: Inform those around you about your video call schedule and request their cooperation in minimizing noise. Consider using noise-canceling headphones if noise remains a concern.
Be Mindful of Body Language: Your body language and facial expressions are still important in video calls. Maintain good posture, avoid distracting habits like excessive fidgeting, and smile when appropriate to appear engaged and friendly.
Record with Permission: If you plan to record the video call for reference or documentation purposes, inform all participants and seek their consent. Even if you are going to use excerpts on social media forums to share highlights of the call, it’s essential to obtain consent and respect privacy regulations, such as GDPR, to ensure you’re compliant with data protection laws and maintain trust among your participants. Respect privacy and confidentiality.
Effective video calls require a combination of technical readiness, communication skills, and etiquette. By optimizing your environment, preparing effectively, and maintaining professionalism, you can ensure that your video calls are productive, engaging, and a successful means of communication.