Video conferencing is becoming an ever more popular solution to connecting people in multiple locations by allowing the combination of both audio and visual interaction without the need to be in the same room. With rising fuel costs impacting travel expenses, video conferencing can not only be convenient and time efficient but can also reduce expenditure on conference rooms, car costs, airfares and entertainment. With more and more people, in both business and education, taking advantage of video conferencing, it looks likely this trend will continue to grow in popularity. Below are a few suggestions on how to make the most of video conferencing and ensure a good impression is made.
Smile, your on camera – as video conferencing is focused on visual communication, it is important you are dressed appropriately and act in the way you would if physically with the other participants. Smiling, looking interested and keeping your eyes on the screen (as opposed to being distracted and looking elsewhere) are important techniques to making a good impression. Dress smartly and, if possible, in plain colours as this will help picture quality.
Speak clearly – although the visual aspect of video conferencing greatly assists in clearer communication, it is still important to project your voice clearly and towards the unit’s microphone. Limiting the amount of background noise also helps better communication, as does avoiding shuffling papers or unconscious pen tapping. Additionally, to help avoid confusion in larger groups, address individuals specifically when posing questions.
Stay relatively still – If you were sat round a table in a more conventional conference you probably wouldn’t move, fidget or stand up and so it is important to remember this when involved in a video conference. When sitting on your own it is sometimes easy to forget you are visible and that your movements will be notice and could be distracting to other participants. Furthermore it may give the impression you’re not interested.
Plain background – make sure the backdrop behind you is not busy with colour or patterns as both can be distracting and potentially reduce the picture quality for other viewers. Avoid positioning your camera near a door which may be opened or in front of a glass screen where people may be moving around in the background.
Take charge – or allocate someone to. If you are running a conference, be sure to state who will be leading the conference to ensure the conference is managed and there is a commanding participant that can control and focus the direction of the conference. This is especially important if many people will be offering input throughout the duration.
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