Modern state of the world requires us all to become digital natives. And if some things come quite easily, for some of them it’s great to have a little cheat-sheet, and a good friend to guide you through once or twice.
Use a head-set or headphones
Sound quality is one of the most important components in online communication. By using a headset or headphones you are making sure both you and the person you are speaking to are having a good experience with no unnecessary complications.
Mute your microphone, when you are not speaking
Even if you are not actively taking part in the conversation, chances are high there might be some noises in your environment that could cause disturbance to the people behind your screen. Make sure to mute your microphone if you are not talking to keep the audio quality high and clean.
Try to prevent noise
Even putting a water glass down on the table can cause pain for the people in your call wearing headphones, as the sound gets multiplied. Especially if you are using any kind of conferencing audio device. Try to avoid making noises during the call as much as possible.
Use the comments chat or a cards system
The easiest way to get ongoing feedback (especially if you are presenting something) is having an eye on the call chat. Participants can write short answers there. An alternative solution could be a colored cards system, where a certain card is agreed to represent a specific opinion or statement. Decide what works best for you and give it a try!
Have a mobile phone and dial-in number handy
Your internet or device you are using for the call might malfunction. To avoid wasting time on trying to fix this problem, have a secondary device (most probably a mobile phone) handy with a dial-in number to quickly re-join the call. It will save you and your conversation partner time and unnecessary stress.
Define a call moderator
As in any kind of meeting, moderation of video-calls is a necessity. Especially when you can’t see each other, it’s harder to anticipate who would speak next, and how the flow of the conversation can go. A moderator fulfills this role perfectly by guiding the discussion and making sure everyone’s opinion is being heard and included.
Include everyone in the video screen
It makes a big difference in having every person’s face on your screen! You can better understand the emotions and reactions of people in the meeting, hence have more natural and easy flowing conversation. Many video-calling tools now make it possible to have both the presenter’s screen and other people in the call to be visible – just try it out!
Turn off your notifications
Seeing (and hearing) notifications pop-up in a call is disturbing for both the presenter and other participants. It can easily make people be distracted from the conversation. Besides, you don’t want everyone to see your work or private emails. Make sure to switch your notifications off before you are going into a video call to avoid these kinds of situations.
Like any other meeting, video call requires your full attention and focus. Make sure you are present mindfully and do not get tempted by the possibility to check your email or do one or two tasks on-side. In the end of the day, video calling can be as powerful as a live meeting, if both you and people behind the screen commit to making it properly.