Opinion: Making your video meeting matter

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James Campanini, VP EMEA of Blue Jeans Network, offers some useful tips on how employees can get the most out of video meetings.

Every day it seems more industries are adopting video conferencing as their preferred method of communication. Individuals and businesses are recognising the cost-benefit of face-to-face connections both in effective communication and bottom line expenditures. Additionally, as mobile device adoption moves forward and the cloud continues to lower the cost barrier of entry, no doubt we will see even more uses of video conferencing.

Whilst conference calls allow a certain anonymity, video meetings are effectively face-to-face so require a different set of rules in terms of etiquette. Blue Jeans Network, a cloud video conferencing company, has put together some top tips for making the most of your meeting.

  1. Meeting Agenda/be prepared: On a conference call you might have been able to make small talk while you pulled up discussion documents on your computer – this doesn’t fly in video conferencing. Prepare your materials in advance and create an agenda and stick to it. This bit of preparation will not only put you in a better light, it will also make for a more effective meeting.
  2. Tech Tools Intact: Another preparatory task that takes little time, but pays dividends is preparing your tech tools. Make sure your camera is positioned correctly (no use being face-to-face if only your chin is showing). Also, make sure your microphone is on/plugged in and, if applicable, your internet connection is working.
  3. Maintain Eye Contact: The benefit of video conferencing is that you can see each other – so make sure you’re looking at one another. Also, it’s unnerving and disrespectful to be looking in another direction when someone is talking to you. This is an opportunity to make a stronger connection with the other participants, use it to your advantage.
  4. Be Present and Presentable: Playing off the point made above, while you’re making eye contact, also be paying attention to the speaker. It’s much easier to stay in the moment over video as opposed to a conference call and you will get more out of the meeting this way. Also, be presentable. It might be fine to wear your pyjama bottoms, but at least choose a business casual shirt on top!
  5. Keep it Quiet: Background noise is irritating and you will be using a microphone that can amplify noise. Make sure you’re in a space where noise is kept to a minimum.

If you employ these tips you and your business will make the most of video meetings and build stronger relationships with clients.

 

 

About Author

Gary Eastwood

Gary Eastwood has over 15 years of experience as a technology and business journalist and editor. He has held editorship positions on customer magazines for Microsoft, CSC, and EDF, as well as on B2B magazine Mobile Enterprise. He is the former Deputy Editor of Computer Business Review. In a freelance role, Gary has contributed numerous features and articles to a broad range of publications, including New Scientist, Computer Weekly, MIS, Marketing Week, Corporate Financier, Real Business, Wireless Business Review, and driven marketing communications projects for clients, such as Intel, the Confederation of British Industry, IBM, Logicalis, the Department of Trade & Innovation, and many others. Gary has written many white papers on a range of ITC subjects for Datamonitor. He is also an editorial photographer and business videographer, and has authored and ghost-written four books on photography. He is the Co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, which provides contract/customer magazines for a growing list of clients, and publishes the B2B magazine for business leaders, Strategist.