The top 10 tips for your next video conference

As coronavirus grabs the world’s attention, companies are taking action to keep their employees safe. Home office is on the rise and with that, a surge in the use of video conferencing as a tool to keep up the momentum with colleagues. 

Written: Mar 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a successful VC (that’s the savvy lingo for video conference), as we’ve spent years perfecting the art while working with teams across our nine markets. Here are our top 10 tips.

1. Muting is merciful

The mute button is your best friend, so remember to turn it on and off at appropriate moments. Figure out where the mute button is and how it works before the VC starts

2. Mind your manners

Turns out it’s pretty obvious when you start checking your email even though we can’t see your screen. Remember, you are seen and heard through the VC, so try to avoid doing anything you wouldn’t normally do in a meeting.

3. Noise pollution

Remember, everything is louder through video conference, even that cough, sniffle or ruffling of papers. We hear everything. Adjust your volume and move away from the microphone if you feel a sneeze coming on.

4. Stay creative

Creative sessions are still possible even though you aren’t physically together. Find the tool that works for you, whether Trello, Workplace, Slack or other, and simply use it instead of the whiteboard and markers during your next VC.

5. Step up your prep

Be prepared. Awkward silences are even more awkward on a video conference, so spend some time prepping for your next VC. Make an agenda, plan your key points, and make it known what you want to achieve during the meeting.

6. Stay human

Just because it’s a VC doesn’t mean you should lose the human touch. Chatting and some time spent socialising are still critical to your meeting, whether video or in–person. Spend the first few minutes of the meeting asking how people are, tell a short story about a recent weekend adventure, or introduce new people.

7. Headsets

Headsets work wonders. Rather than blasting the VC to your entire household or through the walls of a meeting room, if you’re the one sitting alone, put on a headset. The sound quality will be better for you and we have a better chance of not hearing that annoying echo when we’re chatting.

8. Look behind you!

Mind the activity behind you. It’s better for VC participants to sit in a spot where there is little to no activity behind them. It can be very distracting for meeting members to watch people walk back and forth in the background as they attempt to focus on the topics at hand.

9. Check your tech

Log in early to make sure everything works. It can be frustrating for all involved to spend the first few critical minutes of a meeting try to make the tech work. Give everyone a break by logging in to test the connection, the sound, and as mentioned earlier, to get intimately familiar with that oh-so-important mute button.

10. Be present

Last but not least…BE PRESENT. It can be super easy to get distracted in a VC. Emails are popping in, messages are plinging from your phone and news alerts are flashing across your screen. I mean, you have to be a stone not to be tempted to sneak a peek at that latest email, but we beg you, do your best to refrain. Be just as present in the meeting as if you were physically there. We promise, if you manage this, your meeting will be much more effective!