Proper use of video conferencing can provide an enormous boost for productivity, and shying away from the prospects of a video conference can quickly remove you from the spotlight.
Video conferencing is a great tool, but for a meaningful video conference, one has to be prepared in a manner akin to a live visual performance. The parameters are similar to a teleconference, but require additional preparations due to physical visibility as well as greater stress on computer hardware.
Preparing for a video conference
While the basic preparations are the same for any live conferencing session, successful video chatting requires unbroken connectivity and properly functioning hardware as well as software. Before going into the part of preparing personally for a video conference, I would like to stress again that testing of hardware and software, and keeping backup hardware is essential for any successful video conference session.
To have a successful video conference:
- Be confident. Be ready with your homework, and also test your equipment before the conference.
- Dress appropriately for a live interview.
- Avoid bright colored dresses, sometimes they have funny effects while rendering.
- The visible area, (stage) should be tidy and organized. People can read a lot about you from the appearance of your stationary and belongings. Projecting the view of an organized area is always healthy, even when dealing with close associates.
- Adjust your seating so that the camera always picks you in the best possible view.
- Be aware of your expressions and mannerisms, they are under observation.
- Speak audibly and clearly. If people on the other side have problems hearing you, then adjust the software until things are comfortable. Do not shout to make yourself audible under any condition. Be in control and let the software to do its job.
- In critical discussions, it is good to have the presence of a person who can play the role of a referee.
- Never leave eye contact. Look straight into the camera in front of you, so that to the other side it appears you are looking directly at them.
- Direct your expressions and gestures at the camera.
- If there are documents or media to be referred to, it is better to share them with the other side, either beforehand or right at the start of the conference.
- Be updated on the person or persons on the other side prior to engaging in conversation.