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Four Ways to Optimize The Efficiency of Your Video Calls

Whether you’ve been in the professional work field for decades or you’re just starting out in your career, the adjustment to remote work is a skill everyone is developing. Don’t feel overwhelmed, adjusting to remote work while still excelling in your career requires practice. Once the basics of video conferencing are understood and used to their full potential, it is a great way for teams and individuals to grow and keep an effective line of communication from different locations, 93% agree that video conferencing improves the effectiveness of teams. With the following considerations in mind, your work conference calls are sure to be more productive, innovative, and successful.

1. Take Time to Prepare Your Setup

No matter what platform you use, give yourself some time to practice and adjust. Even after a year some of us are still getting comfortable being online and there is more to it than simply downloading the software you are using. 

First, understand how different platforms work differently. From Zoom, Skype, GoogleMeet, Joinme, to Slack, every tool has certain ways of playing with the video and audio settings and you’d want to connect before your meeting to check how it shows up. Do the “test audio” feature to test your microphone and how your speaker view looks. Set your camera angle to see how you show up. Adjust lighting and position of the frame. It wouldn’t be fun to see someone passing by you being unaware you were live or on video!

2. Manners and Proper Etiquette

Once you’re on the call, mannerisms and overall demeanor play a huge role in the efficiency of the meeting, smile! It’s much easier to communicate thoughts and ideas in a comfortable virtual environment. I try to keep similar if not better mannerisms than I would at an in-person meeting, it is harder to read someone’s body language and mood virtually, so it’s important to be very friendly and polite. If it’s your first time meeting with a group of people, introduce yourself. 

Mention the basics like your name, location, job title, and then also mention something interesting like your dream vacation or favorite ice cream flavor! There are so many great icebreakers out there to try, don’t be afraid to get creative and make up your own. This will help to get to know one another better, make you stand out if you have a unique fun fact, and overall make the meeting more exciting. Join the call on time if you don’t want to miss important aspects like introductions or the meeting agenda. Many of these platforms, like Zoom, have so many great technical features to make the communication process smooth, like the hand raise gesture is great when you want to make a comment but don’t want to interrupt. 

Overall, try to be genuine and friendly to make the meeting enjoyable and efficient for everyone.

3. Facilitating a Successful Meeting

I can attest that anyone can join a video call, we did a Zoom call with my 90-year-old grandmother for the holidays during COVID lockdown. Although facilitating a successful business meeting requires a little more planning and professionalism. Hosting a successful meeting can be overwhelming at first, but do not stress it can be easy. The most important thing is keeping your audience engaged, the best way to do so is to let your personality shine through! Be personable, use people’s names when speaking, keep eye contact through the webcam,ask about people’s lives! 

A two-word check in at the start of each meeting is a fantastic way to engage a team and express emotions without taking too much time out of the meeting agenda. I like to give the meeting host a thumbs up or a head nod to let the facilitator know I’m listening and understanding what they are saying. A fun way to keep everyone participating using the chat box is a “waterfall”- the host has everyone type up a response to a question, then they count to three and have everyone send their answers at the same time. 

There are so many fun and innovative ways to keep audiences engaged, don’t be afraid to try new methods to see if they work for your specific audience!

4. Embrace the Differences Technology Creates

Keep in mind no one was born video conferencing- at least not any generations who are working yet! Everyone is in a similar situation as they get used to navigating these different platforms, stay mindful of the differences technology creates as you adjust. I naturally speak fast so I’m always trying to slow it down on a video call, sometimes the audio lags, speaking slowly and it gives everyone the chance to catch up and understand what’s being said. 

This is also a wonderful opportunity to embrace the pauses on a video call, too often I catch myself responding to quickly or over someone else which creates an uncomfortable situation of who’s going to speak first, take a moment to pause during a meeting, retain the information and generate insightful questions this is such an advantage technology gives us that is not used at in person meetings! 

Another remarkable thing about video conferencing is the opportunity to connect with people on the other side of the world on a live platform. When scheduling a meeting consider the different time zones, to make the meeting convenient for everyone to participate in.

As mundane in-person work meetings become a thing of the past, video conference calls are becoming one of the most popular ways of live- communication. Video conferencing has seen a 535% rise in daily traffic in 2020

The adjustment from in person meetings to virtual calls can be a little challenging at first but with a little practice and research, video conference calls can help you and your team to flourish! Don’t be afraid to experiment and use all the great tools and accessories these platforms have to offer on your next meeting.

About the Author

Picture of  Tara Macchione

Tara Macchione

Tara is an InnovatorsBox intern. As the Content Creator and Social Media Marketing Associate she enjoys enhancing the digital growth of companies by increasing brand awareness. As a student and professional Tara consistently capitalizes on opportunities to improve her skills. She is a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter at Montclair State University in New Jersey and the schools agency, Hawk Communication. After working with multiple different industries it is evident that her passion for innovation and content creation is consistent no matter the context, with a strong drive to watch these organizations flourish, she delivers.

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