Video conferences are a great way to bring people together from all over the world. But like many other types of meetings, they can get off track quickly if not hosted properly.
This can waste time and distract everyone from getting work done. Here are 10 tips to host a productive videoconference that will help you get your projects done more efficiently.
1. Know Your Limits
Video conferencing is a powerful tool that can help your team collaborate and move projects forward. However, it’s important to use these meetings wisely so you don’t waste time or energy on unnecessary activities.
A productive video conference starts with knowing your limits and being sure you’re not going to exceed them. For example, if you’re having a party for the weekend and plan to drink a lot of alcohol, it’s important to set a limit ahead of time and stick to it.
This will not only protect you and those around you but it can help improve your quality of life as well. Keeping your own boundaries can also be a great way to encourage your friends and family to do the same! Ultimately, setting a good example is crucial. It’s an important habit to develop and one that can spread like wildfire!
2. Set a Good Example
Whether you’re hosting or attending a video conference, it’s important to set the right tone from the start. That means dressing appropriately, choosing the right location and following proper business etiquette.
If you’re the host, be sure to arrive at the meeting on time and make it easy for everyone to connect and get started. That way, you can minimize distractions and focus on the call.
It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in place should anything go wrong during the meeting. This can involve appointing someone to monitor the connection or setting up an online collaboration tool, such as Google Docs.
3. Share the Mic
You need a camera and a microphone for video conferencing. Laptops and desktops usually come with both, but you can buy a standalone webcam or microphone if your computer doesn’t have it.
Having the right equipment can make all the difference during a meeting. It also helps keep remote participants feeling like they’re truly in the room with you.
When you’re speaking, look directly into the camera lens and speak clearly. You can even use sticky notes or taped notes to help you reference things on screen without breaking eye contact.
You’ll also want to mute the mic when you’re not speaking. It’s a great way to prevent unwanted echoes from disrupting your voice, and most conferencing applications have an easily accessible mute button.
4. Don’t Look at the Video Feed
A common video conference faux pas is looking at the video feed rather than the camera. This makes you look like you’re not paying attention and may make other attendees feel uncomfortable.
Similarly, texting and chatting can be distracting for others on the call. To avoid this, close unnecessary tabs and apps from your browser window prior to launching the meeting.
Finally, test your video conferencing software to ensure all of your audio and visual settings are up to par. This will save you time down the road when the conference is in full swing.
5. Keep Your Eyes on the Camera
Keeping your eyes on the camera is a crucial step in avoiding awkward video conference gaffes. Taking your eyes off the screen to look at a document, a chat, or your phone will make you look distracted.
Moreover, it’s important to keep your mic at a good level so you can hear others on the call. Muting your mic when you’re not speaking will also help minimize background noise, which can distract other participants.
A recent study showed that speakers who looked right into the webcam in a video conference had higher perceived trustworthiness than those who positioned themselves too far away from the camera or had their faces obscured by objects. By following these tips, you can ensure that your next video conference is productive and goes smoothly.
6. Don’t Multitask
Multitasking is one of the biggest contributors to ineffective meetings. Studies have shown that it costs you as much as 40% of your productive time.
This isn’t just a problem for video conferences; it also affects other kinds of meetings that require mental focus. Consider the example of a meeting between two people who are both checking their emails at the same time.
To keep yourself from getting distracted by other tasks, close all your browser windows and tabs that aren’t relevant to the current task you have in front of you. Also, turn off your phone and any other distractions that could interrupt your focus.
7. Avoid Distractions
While video conferences offer many benefits for remote teams, they can also present a host with many distractions and pitfalls. That’s why it’s important to keep these 8 tips in mind when hosting a productive videoconference call.
The first thing to do is avoid interruptions by setting a strict agenda. This way, you can ensure that all meeting participants are on the same page with your discussion and stay on track.
8. Don’t Over-Invite
While video conferences are a great way to reach out to clients and give demonstrations of new products, they don’t have to include all your team members. By inviting only those who truly need to participate, you can ensure the meeting is productive and focused on the important issues at hand.
It’s also important to make sure that everyone on the call is aware of their role in the discussion. If people are unsure of how to contribute, they’ll likely feel a disconnect and be less effective contributors.
If you have to invite more than the number of participants you need, it’s best to create an agenda and send it out ahead of time. This will help keep the meeting on track and give others enough time to prepare their contributions. It can also help eliminate any surprises, like internet connection problems or unexpected drop-ins.
9. Keep the Meeting on Track
If you want to host a productive videoconference, it’s important that you keep the meeting on track. Otherwise, participants may get distracted and the conversation will go off course.
The best way to keep the meeting on track is by ensuring that everyone has a clear idea of the purpose of the meeting before you start. This ensures that all attendees are on the same page and can contribute valuable input to the discussions.
It also helps to assign different roles to attendees so that they feel like they’re an integral part of the conversation. This can include everything from scribes who take notes to facilitators who lead the discussion.
10. Stay Focused
If you’re running a video meeting, it’s important to stay focused so that everyone has the opportunity to contribute. This includes reading the agenda beforehand so that all discussions will be relevant and on track within the timeframe you’ve allocated.
In addition, it’s critical to mute your microphone when you’re not speaking and refrain from multitasking during the call. This helps others to easily hear what you’re saying, while also preventing distractions like background noise or a toddler in the room.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you host a productive video conference. It’ll also help you keep your team members engaged and on track. With these simple tools and strategies, you’ll be able to get more done in less time. And, best of all, you’ll be able to focus on other projects and deliverables instead of struggling to keep up with meetings!
With video conferences, collaboration is in real-time and allows employees to brainstorm and make decisions on the spot. This saves time that would otherwise be spent back and forth via email or phone. It also eliminates the need for travel, allowing employees to get more work done in their own time.
Aside from following proper meeting etiquette, keeping a tight focus on the main topic of discussion is another essential element in getting meetings productive. According to Atlassian, half of all time spent in meetings is wasted. Without a clearly-defined agenda, meetings often become unfocused and stray from the original purpose. This is especially true in meetings with a large group of people, said Daniela Andreevska, a freelance content strategist and creator. She recommends sending an agenda around ahead of the meeting, so attendees know what will be discussed and can prepare to weigh in on those topics.
These tips should help you keep your next videoconference on track and more productive than ever before. If you have any additional ideas, share them in the comments section below!