Best Practices for Virtual Meetings
As technology grows and the need for improved communications increases, many processes such as business meetings are becoming virtual. With it all narrowing down to a camera in front of you, it becomes increasingly obvious you need a better and more professional system for your virtual meetings.
In this guide, we’ve compiled a few tips for improving your virtual meetings. We cover everything from appearance to conducting an emergency meeting to ensure you can conquer it all.
Dress the Part
It’s probably time you put more thought into what you wear on screen. You may not be physically at work, but you are still working with colleagues and employees through a screen.
If you’re at a loss as to what clothing might help you look less washed out, try bright or solid colors that don’t match your wall. It will help you stand out against your background and a bright light won’t make you look too dull.
Small patterns are distracting, so steer away from those no matter how much you like that polka dot shirt. Think business casual and make sure there aren’t any wrinkles visible.
Believe it or not, dressing also includes doing your hair. If you show up with messy bed hair, no suit you wear to your virtual meeting will make you look professional. Be sure to comb your hair or tie it back as you would if you were in the office. This will not only help you look more put together and professional on screen, it will help you feel better.
Get Rid of Background Noise
The first and easiest step to making your home office look more professional is to make sure your bed isn’t in view of the camera. No matter how beautifully made your bed is, it will always make the background distracting or appear unprofessional.
Another way to get rid of background noise is to remove any visible clutter. Loose cords and stray papers can make your workstation look unorganized and chaotic. Make sure nothing that wouldn’t be in your work office is in view. Whether you’re joining the virtual meeting from the kitchen or the downstairs playroom, make sure there’s nothing that could be distracting.
If you really want to spice up your virtual office and make it look more professional, add some art in the background. If you have flowers or a painting you can move, use them to decorate your space. Just make sure not to fill every visible space with something as it will make your workstation look messy again.
Lighting is Everything
Think about what lighting is around when you’re conducting a video meeting. Is it a harsh, white light that might make you look washed out? Or is it a warm light that hardly lights the room well? While you can’t really make drastic changes to lights overhead, you can adjust your location to better fit your lighting needs.
Natural lighting is the best for video calls. If you can find a room that is well-lit by the sun without having to be right by a window, that’s your best option. Make sure the light source isn’t directly behind your head as that can create a shadow on your face, causing your face to appear too dark on screen. The best way to avoid this is by making sure the light is either directly opposite you or coming at the side of your face.
In addition to using natural light, it might be worth it to purchase and LED circle light. Often called “selfie rings”, these lights are used by YouTubers and other video creators to make sure they are well lit while on camera. They are cheaper than a professional lighting kit and work just as well.
By investing a little into your lighting arrangement, you can greatly improve your professional appearance during video conferences.
Use a Quality Laptop, Not Your Phone
Phone cameras these days are pretty impressive, but a shaking screen is not. Using your phone can cause your video screen to shake and make other meeting participants dizzy. Unless you have a high quality setup to guarantee your phone won’t shake, stick with your laptop’s camera. It will remain steady and won’t shake as you conduct or watch a virtual meeting.
Even if your phone camera has never failed you before, don’t risk it. Your laptop has a camera for a reason and your professional self will feel much better without a shaky camera.
Audio is Vital
If your colleagues can’t hear you clearly, it’s difficult to conduct a meeting. It’s vital that your sound works and that there’s not a lag between the time you say something and when it goes through the meeting. Hollow and echoing audio can be a nightmare to deal with, but it’s fairly easy to fix.
First, make sure the room you’re in is carpeted and that the walls aren’t bare. This will help pad the noise and prevent it from bouncing around and making your voice sound hollow. If the only rooms in your house are hardwood or uncarpeted, grab some pillows and blankets. You can use these to fix the room up so your voice doesn’t echo as much. Just lie several pillows around the room and use the blankets as well.
Moving some decorations into the room can also help absorb the sound and provide better sound quality.
Consider a Good Microphone
Your laptop already has a microphone built into it. It probably has decent quality. But if you find yourself having to attend virtual meetings regularly, it might be worthwhile to invest in a proper, quality external microphone. There is no doubt that external mics have way better sound quality. This will enhance your virtual meeting and present you in a more professional light.
As straightforward as virtual meetings may seem, it takes some work to keep them professional. By dressing the part and working in a designated office space, you can feel more like you’re at work than at home. Treat virtual meetings like in-person meetings in every way you can and you’ll find it’s a lot easier to be professional and confident through them.
Now that you have the best practices down, all it takes is finding the best virtual meeting provider available. We can help you make the perfect setup, and bring your entire meeting to life.