How to video conference like a pro (or at least pretend to)

By Rachel Glauser


If you’re not on Zoom, do you even WFH?

Ok, but seriously, everyone is participating in video conferencing right now and for better or worse, it’s dramatically changing the workforce landscape. Our team has been spending a fair amount of time on video calls using various platforms such as Zoom, GotoMeeting, Teams, Google Hangouts and other programs depending on the meeting’s purpose and our client’s preferences and objectives. Zoom has proven to be an excellent avenue for virtual happy hours assuming you don’t get Zoombombed in the process (yes, it’s a thing. Beware). We’re here to help you video conference like a pro, or at least pretend to.

In light of this budding trend that we’re all forced to partake in (I’m fine. It’s fine. We’re all fine), we wanted to share with you some valuable tips – 5 in fact – to make your next video conference as productive as possible during this time.


1. Start and end on time

Yes, we are all at home and experiencing abrupt changes to our schedules and routines. Because we’ve all been thrown into our home offices, bedrooms or closets (everyone knows that one person) it’s all too tempting to treat this time with less importance. Don’t let the change in workplace kill your productivity and professionalism. You owe it to yourself, to your employer and especially to your clients to respect everyone’s time. If you’re hosting a 10:30am call, get on the line at 10:25am and watch your time closely so you can end the meeting when you said you would.


2. Introduce everyone on the line if you are the host

Again, behave as you would in the real world. Don’t assume each of your attendees knows everyone. This is especially important if you have some calling in without (or choosing not to use) video connection. Before you jump in the meeting’s agenda, be a gracious host and introduce everyone on your call. It’s also a good rule of thumb to introduce yourself before you begin speaking.


3. Clean up your space

Quarantine 2020, the year we all found out Joe has a rather large, rather disturbing collection of Bobbleheads. Don’t be like Joe. Clean your workspace and check that your background isn’t distracting and is appropriate for your audience. Did you know you can customize your Zoom background? We recommend opting for a polished virtual scene featuring your logo, shining proudly in the background. If you need help with that, just send us a message, we’ve fashioned these classy creations for ourselves and our clients!


4. Look into the camera instead of at yourself

Yes, you is smart, you is kind, you is important, but you is on a call now and need to pay attention to others. This is not an opportunity to examine your appearance. GoToMeeting is not your GoToMirror. Looking directly into the camera gives your fellow attendees confidence that you’re focused on the meeting and is considered good “eye contact” in the virtual world. Show everyone the same respect you would in real life.


5. Check and double check that your technology is working appropriately

No Debra, your coworkers are not ignoring you…your mic is muted. Check first thing that your settings are set up per your host’s requirements. Video and audio? Audio only? Make sure you get yourself prepared accordingly. This is just another reason why getting on the call early is so important. And for the love of all things, watch your language or you’ll become prime content for the next Zoom Happy Hour. “Remember that one time Debra thought she was on mute, but wasn’t!” Call us, Debra, we’ll help you get this right.


Hopefully these tips are straightforward and serve as helpful reminders when you are hosting and participating in the many video and/or conference phone calls that are in your future. To successfully take your business functions from office place to home base, the import thing to remember is to treat each virtual meeting like you would any in-person meeting. Dress appropriately, respect each other and each other’s time, become very familiar with the technology you’re using and take this opportunity to stretch your capabilities and grow! You got this. And if you don’t (Debra), we have your back!

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