The home office has become the new work environment for most during the COVID-19. While the world fights to defeat the global pandemic, we are fighting connectivity issues, choppy audio and interrupting family members. As video calls, conference calls and Zoom meetings have become a daily occurrence, we have compiled a list of tips to help you make your colleagues jealous with your professional video call skills.
Before the Call
Before your video call starts, there are a variety of ways you can prepare yourself and ensure that you and your electronics are in prime condition for the call ahead.
Check your timezone
We live in a globalized world, connecting with people from all over. Although this may sound obvious, 3 PM in Miami is not 3 PM in Barcelona. Double check the date and time of your meeting. If you are confused about the time-zone it is always a good idea to send a quick email just to check! Once you know when your meeting is, we can move on to step 2.
Check your software and accessories
Make sure to check what software or video call application you will be using in this meeting. Some applications and software require you to download them before the call. Make sure to download the latest and most compatible version for your device. If you have the necessary application already, it is always good to check that you have the latest version downloaded to avoid any delays.
Once your software is in check and running, it is important to have a quick microphone, audio and camera check to ensure your image is clear and that you and your caller can hear each other. Many applications such as Skype offer a Test Call feature to allow you to confirm all of this quickly. There is nothing worse than turning up to a video meeting, only to realize that your microphone is not working.
A video meeting is not just about your device and software, you also need to look the part. It goes without a saying, the more formal the meeting, the more prepared and well presented you need to be. Ensure that you are dressed in appropriate attire for the meeting, and that you are well groomed. Men, brush your hair and comb your beard. Ladies, tame your mane and add a dash of rouge.
Make sure the background for your call is clean and presentable too! The last thing you want is your boss seeing your laundry hanging in the background of your business meeting. Find somewhere quiet and with a neutral background. If you have a space with front-facing natural light, this is known to be the most flattering for video calls. Make sure to place your computer or device on an elevated surface for the duration of the call; this is not the time for practicing your selfie angles. Make sure that the top of your head down to your shoulders are visible in the camera and that your camera is at about eye height. This way you will be facing your colleagues head on.
Once you are looking the part, you need to act it too. Remember to inform any other people in your household of the timing of your call, so that you are free from distractions and have a silent environment. Make sure you are well prepared and researched for the call. Know the purpose of the call, and prepare any questions you may want answered beforehand.
During the Call
During the call, ensure that when you are not speaking, you place your microphone on mute, as a courtesy to others. There is nothing more distracting than the metallic resonations of your neighbors piano practice cutting out the conversation. This way you present yourself professionally and respectfully to everyone in the call.
Make sure that you remember your camera is on. It is all too easy to get distracted by an incoming text or fixing your flyaway hairs you spotted, but in order to remain professional and presentable, you need to look the part. Concentrate on listening to the conversation, taking notes when necessary and contributing actively.
Here comes the difficult part. Allow the moderator to take charge of the call. Usually whoever organized or scheduled the call has a purpose for doing so, and will also lead the conversation. In conference calls with multiple people, this is even more important as you want to ensure that each person is heard, and that there are no interruptions. Therefore, wait your turn and choose your opportunity wisely to speak up.
After the Call
The call is over, you survived! Take a moment to collect yourself and go through the topics discussed. Make any additional notes on points you may have forgotten to write down or questions you didn’t have the chance to ask.
Great! Now you have all of the tips to mastering the mysterious art of the video call. Want to test them out? Click here to explore our amazing training programs, and schedule an interview with us! We look forward to seeing your new video call skills in practice!