Video Meeting Tips and Social Distancing

Video Meeting Tips

Thanks to our community’s important commitment to social distancing, face-to-face meetings are temporarily out of the question.

Thankfully, technology means we can still meet, but if you’re not used to setting up or attending video conference meetings, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. This blog offers a fast way to get up to speed so you can run or attend your virtual meetings easily and professionally.

Platform Options

There are several platforms for video conferencing, including Skype, Zoom, Whereby, and Google Hangouts.

Personally, I am using Zoom. Some of the are it  doesn’t matter sort of computer or program the other person has and/or uses. You just provide a link to the other person and presto it all works with no fuss.

Issues with Home Vidoe Meetings

Having video meetings from home often means we’re not feeling 100% in work mode. I’ve been doing video conferencing sessions for 10 years now, and I freely admit that some days I have been a bit slow to get started, too comfy in my pyjamas, or let myself get so distracted doing things around the house that I’ve completely forgotten to change out of my gardening clothes before the meeting! Equally embarrassing is forgetting to do my hair before the meeting (not that it takes much, but still…). The point is, you want to learn from my mistakes and avoid those embarrassing moments.

And so, I’ve put together the following tips to help you to run professional online meetings and sessions.

14 Tips to Increase Video Meeting Success

Some of these offer a quick solution to get you by in the short term, and others are valuable if you want to establish a more permanent setup:

  1. Take a quick look in the mirror before your meeting—are you presentable? 😊
  2. Position your video screen just below the camera.
  3. Look at the camera, not the screen. Positioning your video screen just below the camera will help you maintain the right eyeline.
  4. Explain your environment with your colleagues/clients so they understand what you’re doing during the meeting. For example, I have two screens open—one for the video conference, and one showing any relevant documents I need to refer to, which requires me to look away from the camera sometimes. I will also take notes during the meeting, which means I’ll need to look down as well. Explaining this at the start of the meeting helps people feel more connected and understand what you have happening in front of you.
  5. If your internet is slow and the video is freezing then your conversation will also be interrupted. If this happens, try muting the video and using your phone/mobile to chat.
  6. Shut down ALL other apps and programs so that you are not interrupted during your meeting. The person at the other end of your video conference can hear all the typing, clicking and dings that might happen at your end, which is distracting for both of you.
  7. Open up any files you need before your session commences.
  8. Pour yourself a glass of water before you start.
  9. Switch your mobile to silent.
  10. DO NOT answer your phone, out of respect for your colleagues and clients. This should be the case for any meeting.
  11. Shut your home office door (if you have one).
  12. Think about your background. The wall or room behind you will be visible, so make sure it looks tidy and professional, or change to a location with a better backdrop. You could also check out the virtual background that may be available via your chosen platform. If all else fails, hang a picture behind you to hide anything you don’t want people to see!
  13. Be aware of noise. All your typing, mouse clicking, and computer noises can be heard, so limit them to essential tasks that are relevant to the meeting you’re in.
  14. Play around with lighting and how you look on camera. You can also improve lighting by purchasing a purpose-built light. I know of two—Lume Cube Air and Aputure AL-M9. I use the Lume Cube, which attaches to my monitor with a built-in magnet. You can purchase the Lume Cube on Amazon, but it is always important to do your own research, so shop around for the product and price that suits you best.

Now, I know a film professional would be able to offer loads of additional suggestions for setting up your video conferencing, but these few tips will definitely get you by in the interim.

As always, if you found this post helpful, please share it.