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7 Tips for a Productive Video Conference

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Effective Video Conference 

Video Conferencing has forever changed the business world and is gaining momentum to become the premier alternative to business travel. Although nothing will ever replace the impact of a live face-to-face meeting, video conferencing provides the next best thing.

Traditional travel not only bogs down a company’s bottom line, but will also slow down productivity of the personnel making the trip.  Video conferencing offers a realistic alternative where the ROI can be measured against travel expenses that far outweigh the investment of video equipment, training, and service.  

That being said, to fully utilize this technology one must take steps in order to have a productive conference. Here are 7 Tips to keep meetings professional and succinct. 

Tip #1:  Send an agenda before the video meeting

Along with the meeting invitation make sure to include a meeting agenda. Not only will this allow guests to know why they are being invited but they will also be able to properly prepare. It’s also a good idea to distribute any materials either in the office or via e-mail at this time.

Tip #2:  Be on time... Better Yet, Arrive Early for Video Conference Meetings

This is always a rule of thumb with any business meeting. Having the capability to use video conferencing allows you instantly connect with clients and partners across the globe. Make sure you are aware of any time zone changes. Arriving to a meeting 10 minutes prior to the start will give you ample time to review notes, set-up the meeting connection and address any last minute changes.

Tip #3: “Mic check 1-2. 1-2” -  Test Video Conference Inputs 

Make sure to test your audio and visual before the start of the meeting. There is nothing more counterproductive than having to trouble-shoot during a conference. Also be sure that there is proper lighting for the camera.  Avoid having too many shadows or extremely bright bulbs. Fluorescent light usually is a viable and effective solution.  

Tip #4:  Nix the “crazy-tie” - What Distracts In Person Will Distract on a Video Conference

Make sure to dress appropriately, keeping in mind that this is still professional setting. You are a representative for your company and should act and dress as such. Avoid prints which may serve as a distraction like that awesome multicolored guitar tie you got for your birthday.

Tip #5:  Remove distractions the video camera view 

Before your meeting, do a quick check to ensure that there is nothing within your camera’s line of sight that will distract other meeting-goers. Also please make sure that your e-mail is closed and cell phone is on silent, just a common courtesy.  

Tip #6:  Avoid speaking at the same time

The more guests there are at a meeting, the harder this gets. Practice patience and avoid speaking over others.  The person hosting the meeting should hold questions until the end and ask any questions to specific guests, in order to make sure that everyone gets a chance to voice an opinion.  Truly open discussion is great, but, with the slight delay of video conferencing technology, the host must manage the discussion for a productive meeting.

#7: “Mute is more”.  Be familiar with your video conference features 

By muting yourself while not speaking you will eliminate background noise such as office chatter or phones ringing. This will help keep the meeting on track without disruption. This will also reduce echo from your microphone.  Be sure to educate your participants on how to mute AND unmute their microphone at the start of the meeting and ask that all participants utilize this feature.

 

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