Top tips for video conferencing

Reduce Noise

The secret for video conferencing (or Zui, Zoom-hui) is limiting distraction. Not yours – your colleagues! Whether that’s reducing visual noise or actual noise. Here’s some tips:

1. Turn off your email notifications. There’s nothing more annoying than hearing constant ‘pings’ when on a call (look in Outlook under settings or preferences).
2. If you’re not the speaker, mute your microphone. Hearing a three year old sing out ‘daddy I’m finished’ in the background is amusing the first time but…
3. Check the positioning of your camera:
• If you have your back to the window, chances are no one can see you due the blinding light behind you.
• What’s physically behind you? A pile of dirty dishes or laundry isn’t a great look. Think about adding an appropriate background filter.

Best practice

Purpose. Have a clear objective for the video conference and don’t try to cover too many topics in one meeting. Think about what it is that you really want people to think / do / feel at the end of each meeting.

Participation. Same rules apply as in face-to-face meetings. Are the people that are invited into the conversation the ones who fit the ‘clear purpose’ structure above? There’s a big difference between ‘need to participate’ and ‘need to know content’. Keep meetings tight and send follow up notes for those that only need to know content or outcomes.

Agenda. Create an agenda, with timings, and stick to them. It’s easy for meetings to run amok at the best of times, so ensure whoever is leading the meeting does so with intent.