Tips for Learning and Being Successful in Video Conferences
Zoom and other similar programs enable us to communicate from our home or office. We not only hear each other, but we can see each other — either in one on one meetings, or as a large group. The basic options are easy to use but may take getting used to. Both technology and etiquette come together in video conferencing.
PCW is a great virtual conference and we all make it a better experience if we get familiar with the tools!
Are You A Total Newbie?
These links below offer videos that help you learn some of these Zoom options:
- Getting on Zoom – https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697
- How you join a meeting- https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-
- How you schedule a meeting – https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362413-Scheduling-meetings
A whole library of Zoom tutorials are available here.
Remember, “meeting” is just a word used for connecting as you work with staff and volunteers of your organization as well as visit with your family and friends. And our connections make all the difference in our world.
Tips for Successful & Engaging Video Conferences
Set Up Your Space
- The best place to do video conferencing is a private place, with the least amount of background noise, good lighting and a non-distracting background. You don’t need to clean the whole room, just what is visible on camera!
- Make sure your face is well lit. Natural lighting and side lighting work best, but overhead lights will work well, too.
- Frame yourself. Open up your video app and look at yourself on camera – make sure your head and shoulders are positioned in the camera frame. Your colleagues want to see your face, not the top of your head or your midsection slouched on the couch. Remember a lot of communication goes out to others from your facial expressions!
Check Your Appearance
- Granted we all aren’t dressed for the office but good grooming is always in style. Brush your hair, put on clean clothing, straighten up your posture. All go to helping you connect with others.
Prepare Your Device
- Make sure you test out your video conferencing software before the call, especially if you’ve never used it before. A dry run with a friend or colleague can be helpful, especially if the meeting is important.
- Check your connection – a strong Wi-Fi connection will make sure you don’t drop out of the conference.
- Charge up – ensure your device is either plugged in or fully charged.
- Screen sharing – If you share your screen during a video call, take a few seconds to prepare before you hit that share button. Clear your desktop of any extra tabs or programs you may have open and make sure any private or sensitive information is hidden.
Be Seen and Heard
- Mute yourself when not speaking. Your microphone can pick up a lot of background noise. Muting allows the group to hear whomever is speaking better. It’s polite to mute if you need to get up or move around or do something else during the call.
- Using a quality microphone headset or earbuds is the best way to reduce background noise, and provide your colleagues with good quality audio.
- Connect and set yourself up a little early, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the software that your host is using. Once the call has started, check to see if everyone can hear and see each other. A good way to do this is by having everyone either check in or introduce themselves.
- Don’t multi-task. Resist the urge to look at your phone or do other work. It’s distracting to all.
- During in-person meetings, you can pick up on visual cues to help find the right time to speak. Wait for a few moments of silence before speaking up in case there’s a sound delay.
- If your group is going to have regular online meetings, establish a system for asking questions, such as raising your hand or using chat to ask a question. If you’re running the meeting, it’s also helpful to call on people by name.
- Speak clearly and watch how fast you speak (and don’t forget to unmute yourself!).
Tips on Looking Your Best