With work from home being the new normal, we have rapidly discovered how to navigate all aspects of managing work virtually such as adopting the well-constructed methods of video conferencing. Still, some glitches may occur and network bandwidth can take a toll at times. While people across the world are adopting video conferencing to communicate with their teams and colleagues, it lacks the personal touch felt by in-person meetings, making it more difficult to study body behaviour or facial expressions.
Understanding how to manage seamless and productive video meetings is important to stay productive in this new normal. here are a few tips to smoothly navigate remote working and digital meetings.
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Preparing is key
Just adopting video conferencing software is not adequate for your virtual meetings. You must be well-equipped with a stable internet connection and hardware products such as a headset and a good quality webcam, not only from your end—make sure your meeting attendees at the other end are also equipped with these basic essentials.
Building an agenda
The fundamental task that you need to undertake before attending a meeting is planning an agenda. This will save you time and help stay on track without dropping out on any points. Drafting an agenda and sharing it with your attendees prior to the meeting can help them be prepared with questions or comments. The participants can also jot down their queries and share them with you beforehand so that you can address them during the meeting.
Back to back meetings can lead to burnout. The act of gazing at the camera and a screen constantly causes fatigue. Video conferencing fatigue has become a common term during this work from the home era. To avoid this, kicking off the meeting with some icebreakers can help release some tension. Ask your attendees how their day was or what movie or series have they been binge-watching. This helps to add a little bit of fun to the meetings and an opportunity for the members to interact with each other. For meetings where attendees aren’t acquaintances, encouraging each attendee to introduce themselves and their designations can create a positive atmosphere.
Etiquette tips for an effective meeting
During a meeting, participants speaking over each other causes disruption and comes across as extremely unprofessional. Hence, it is crucial to make specific rules mandatory at the beginning of the video discussion, assign who directs the call, designate each attendees’ role, and allot the timeline delivered to each speaker. A moderator can be assigned during meetings who can intervene when participants obstruct each other’s communication. Set terms such as “raise a hand if to interject” or “apply an annotation tool while screen sharing in order to present successfully”. This helps in securing your conferences in operating seamlessly and systematically and prevents anyone from feeling neglected.
A fundamental factor in every virtual meeting is your physical appearance, so ensure that you dress suitably and maintain the required etiquettes and prestige of your organization. Keep the formal context in mind and try not to wear too many colours or patterns as it may be distracting.
Other virtual meeting techniques that you may consider executing:
– Tidy up your space and set your camera at a decent measure, neither too distant nor too near. Aim to have yourself set up in the centre of the screen from the shoulders up. Lighting should be bright and your face should be clearly visible.
– There is no requirement to splurge on lighting: natural light or regular lamp light is sufficient as long as you’re visible to the meeting attendees.
– Use a headset as a solution in eliminating background noises and disruptions.
– Avoid the practice of using a cell phone during meetings. Although it can be tempting, it denotes that you are inattentive.
Lastly, keep your camera at eye level so that it appears as if you are communicating to attendees directly. This indicates a level of confidence and assurance that every prosperous meeting requires!
– By Gaurang Sinha, Director, Go-to-Market Strategy at Flock
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