In today's increasingly digital world, video conferencing has become an essential communication tool for businesses and organizations. Video conferencing allows users to interact in real time from virtually any location; for remote meetings with colleagues, virtual interviews, online team meetings, and more. While video conferencing is the most convenient virtual communication method nowadays, it does come with specific considerations to ensure a successful and professional experience.
This article identifies the nine most important etiquette tips for proper video conferencing to ensure you have a smooth virtual communication experience.
Tip 1: Test Your Technology Beforehand | Hardware + Software
The right technology is crucial for a good video conference. Your laptop’s camera and microphone are enough for daily video calls with colleagues. For larger video conferences involving hundreds or thousands of participants, use a high-quality video conferencing system.
Consider the following while selecting video conferencing technology:
- - Choose your video conferencing technology based on your event's scale. Though conventional solutions like Zoom can be suitable for small virtual events, more professional events require specialized video conferencing systems.
- - Specialized video conferencing systems usually offer better quality audio and visuals, as well as more features like participant management, private chat rooms, document sharing, and screen sharing. Additionally, investing in a professional toolset will give you the advantage of having a more specialized setup tailored to your needs.
Tip 2: Have a Clean Background and Good Lighting
Unless a branded backdrop is a necessity, a plain background without any visual distractions is preferable. Ideally, sit in front of a white or plain light-colored wall. Avoid distracting and misleading features like backdrop blur or virtual backgrounds.
Additionally, sitting in front of a wall keeps your private spaces from showing up in the background, which adds professionalism to the conversation.
The background wall color shouldn't be too bright or too dark. Strong red, blue, or green walls are not advisable for video conferencing, since your skin tone is often unfavorably distorted by the camera with these colors. Also avoid patterned backgrounds, as they usually aren’t captured well by the camera and cause a flickering in the image that draws undue attention.
Tip 3: Join on Time and Be Prepared
Preparing your speech and all the presentation materials in advance allows the discussion to flow smoothly and saves time for the participants. Make sure to join the video conference on time and have everything ready before it starts.
Additionally, make sure participants have clear instructions on how to join the video meeting and a working link before the event starts.
Tip 4: Dress Appropriately
Clothing as a form of non-verbal communication is often underestimated. However, others too often judge us for it․ So, try to dress professionally when participating in a video conference. Looking well-groomed with clothes that are neat and presentable will help you come across as professional.
Avoid attire with patterns for the video conference․ Small patterns on your clothing, whether they are stripes, checks, squares, or dots, cause interference during video recordings, such as flickering in the image that disrupts focus. Therefore, it is preferable to dress in mild colors that do not sharply contrast with the background.
Tip 5: Avoid Background Noises While Speaking
Identify the optimal sound level in advance and check it with the volume testing function before the conference starts. This will make sure all the conference participants hear you well during the event, which is one of the key factors of successful virtual communication.
A push-to-talk button should ideally be installed for your video conferencing program. Most software has this feature, which enables you to be heard by others only when you press and hold a keyboard key. In this way, your background noises are not heard when others are talking.
It’s also good if the microphones used in your virtual meeting have an echo-canceling function that reduces background noise to ensure the best sound quality.
Video conferences also greatly benefit from good room acoustics. Strong sound insulation reduces echoes and blocks out outside noise.
Tip 6: Use a Video Conferencing Platform That Works Well for Your Team
There are many different video conferencing platforms available, so it is important to select one that works well for your team. Ideally, finding a user-friendly platform that offers features such as screen sharing and chat functions is enough to get started on the right track.
If you're just starting your research of a video conferencing platform, take the time to look into Podcastle. It is a reliable and user-friendly video conferencing platform that is designed to help teams stay connected.
With Podcastle, you can hold meetings and conferences that feel like face-to-face meetings. The platform offers HD-quality podcasts and crystal-clear audio, so you do not have sound interruptions. The platform also offers automatic background noise removal, which comes in very handy if you can’t find a calm corner for hosting your virtual event.
The Podcastle platform also offers a host of features and tools to help you to edit, transcribe, and enhance your audio and video content.
Tip 7: Mute Yourself When You’re Not Speaking
Background noise disrupts the smooth flow of a video conference, so it's important to mute yourself when you’re not speaking.
Muting yourself when you’re not speaking in a video conference can help keep the conversation focused and ensure everyone on the call has a chance to voice their opinion.. During a video call, a ringing phone, a chirping text message, or an email notification can turn into a significant distraction.
Tip 8: Avoid Multitasking
While multitasking is considered a good skill in modern, fast-paced societies, it's not usually suitable for video conferencing. If you are engaging with others on the call, it's important to focus your attention on them and not be distracted by other tasks or activities.
Avoid distractions from your phone and computer, as this can be highly distracting for everyone on the call. Turn off notifications from your team chat apps and close any other windows or programs, as they could be a source of distraction.
Instead, use the video conferencing platform in full-screen mode to make it easier to focus on the conversation.
Tip 9: Maintain Eye Contact
Maintaining eye contact during a video conference is an essential part of effective communication. In a virtual meeting, it can be difficult to make eye contact with all participants, but it is important to make sure everyone feels included in the conversation.
To maintain eye contact during a video conference, it is important to look directly into the camera instead of looking at the other participants on the screen. This will give the impression that you are looking directly at them, even though you are not making direct eye contact.
Additionally, it's important to control your body language. Make sure you are sitting up straight, with your shoulders back and your head held high. This will help to convey that you are engaged in the conversation and that you are paying close attention to what is being said by others.
In conclusion, video conferencing etiquette is crucial for your meeting to go smoothly. By following the nine tips outlined in this article, you will ensure your video conferencing experience is successful and enjoyable.
From being mindful of your background to use the mute button judiciously, these tips will help create an effective video conferencing experience.
And if you want to try your first video conference today, try Podcastle now!