Video conferencing is the way fo the future, connecting people all over the world with high-definition video feeds to transform meetings, seminars, and more. If you’ve never used a video service for your conference calls, now’s the time to give it a try and see why so many businesses are making the switch. As the technology improves, we may even see future calls being done in VR (that’s virtual reality for you non-tech types). Here’s how to hold an effective video conference call.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
You’ve probably seen this tip all over the place when it comes to running conference calls, but it is truly the most important component of any successful call; be it audio-only or video feeds. If you don’t have an agenda for your calls, you’ll end up lost, and the conversation tends to stray from the subject matter at hand to something off-topic like politics or sports (or even office gossip).
Keeping your video conference calls organized ensures maximum retention from callers and that your meeting stays within its time limits. Learning how to manage your time better is much more effective than just jumping into a call head-first without the slightest idea of where to go with it. Keep yourself organized and structured with a good agenda.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your agenda needs to be made from a fancy template and decorated with perfect calligraphy. A good agenda can be as simple as a checklist scribbled on a post-it note; as long as you have some idea of who’s attending, what the topics are, and what the time and date of the meeting are, you’re already on your way to better conference calls.
Are You Using the Right Software?
Video conferencing software for work comes in all shapes and sizes; from the bare minimum/low-quality video feeds to 4k ultra HD video. Choosing the right software can mean the difference between a successful call and one that keeps losing connection during discussions.
There’s nothing more irritating than a pixelated-video feed or a call that continuously drops. When you’re choosing the right software for your company, be sure you’re getting what you pay for. You’ll want to choose a service that not only offers HD-quality video feeds, but that also has a customer support service that’s available to assist you with any questions or feedback.
Don’t Be Rude
This should go without saying, but unfortunately, not everyone understands the etiquette involved with conference calling. For one thing, you should never try to talk over someone. This is simply unacceptable and makes you look very unprofessional. Even if you’re the boss, you should still respect people enough to give them a chance to speak before giving your opinions.
Secondly, don’t try to argue over the phone. If you disagree with something that was said during the call, it’s better to bring it up in private conversation later (preferably in person). You can say “I disagree with you there” during the call, but a full-blown debate in the middle of a conference call is generally considered rude and obnoxious.
Sometimes watching a video conference call lets you lose sight of your hearing the participants. Another component to that all-important etiquette we just discussed is the ability to listen and absorb what’s being said during the call. If you’re someone who struggles with remembering things, you can take notes during the call to ensure you’ve heard everyone correctly.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but don’t get caught an hour into the call daydreaming and not listening to what others are saying. This is disrespectful and can make the speaker feel like you don’t care about what they have to say. Be attentive, and keep your meetings under an hour if possible to maximize everyone’s retention.
Introduce New People
If new clients or remote team members are going to participate in your call, you’ll want to introduce them to everyone right away. Be sure to include their name and title (if applicable) and give a short summary of why they’re on the call. This will help everyone connect easier, and provide a simple roadmap to better communication as a whole.
If you’ve ever been in a conference call and didn’t know who was talking, it was probably very confusing and maybe even a bit frustrating for you. Introduce yourself as well, so everyone knows who the host is and what the agenda for the call looks like.
Find Your Mute Button
This is arguably one of the most important tips that you can remember when hosting a conference call, especially if you’re in an environment with a lot of background noise. If you participate in calls from home, find your mute button! It’s incredibly distracting and frustrating to hold a conversation with a lot of background noise going on. If it’s not your turn to speak, the best thing you can do is to mute yourself so as not to add any unwanted noise to the call.
Video conference calling has changed the way we communicate, bringing near in-person communication to remote teams and clients all over the world. Even with this incredible technology, it’s important to remember the rules and etiquette of conference calls to keep it professional and organized.