Here’s the first blog in our series titled Video Call Tips, How to enhance Attendee experience.
If you missed the introduction for this series, you can find it here. In the piece, I cover why we’re doing the series and reading that before this blog will get you up to speed.
So, let’s jump straight into the pool.
For part 1 of the series, were going to look at Best Practices
Best practices are basically universally accepted cultural norms and work etiquette that will make the video call experience better for you and others.
a. Be on time for the call – Video calls are usually scheduled and in order for them to work out, just like physical meets, all the
participants have to be on the same video conferencing platform at the same time. We did a survey at Gumzo that asked over 30
individuals from Corporate and Higher Education the question: If someone reaches a 1-hour long video call 30 minutes late, should
they be accepted into the meeting or not?
A majority 71% said they would accept the participant into the meeting but only if the participant lets them know that they were
going to be late. A quite sizeable 29% said No. If you are late, we have to reschedule. I believe that this is due to the scarcity of time
and most people have planned days where if you don’t get them on the agreed time, they probably have to be somewhere else and
this makes them assume you’re not coming for the meeting, hence allows them to plan themselves for the next meeting.
b. Be comfortable and sit in a healthy position – Comfort is super important for your video call experience. Having the call while your
laptop/phone is placed on a flat table or surface will do you and your video call attendees a lot of good. Placing your device on a flat
surface will also mean that the other people on the call are able to see you in a pleasant way. If you are moving around this will
cause the camera to be shaky, seriously damaging the video call experience.
Get yourself a good chair as well (A dining table chair will work) and this will ensure that you have good posture and that do not
develop back problems. Remember you’re going to be in many video calls so having a bad posture will take a toll on your body over
a long period of time.
c. Have a simple and neat background – A good video call background is very easy to achieve. Have as few things as possible behind
you (even a bare wall works) and if you will have things in the background, ensure that they are neat. @ratemyskyperoom on twitter
do a fair job at rating video conferencing rooms. Users send them screenshots and ratemyskyperoom rate them.
You can send them photos of your room and that should be fun.
d. Mismatch your background with your shirt – Mismatching your shirt colour with your background colour will bring out a good
contrast in the video call. Wearing a black shirt and being in front of a black background for example will create a camouflage effect
and this will have you be lost from a viewer perspective.
e. Be presentable (at least your upper half) – Just like in a real life interaction where you want to make the best impression, a video
call is an opportunity to look presentable and make an impression. You can make a fantastic impression by ensuring that your upper
half is neat.
You may not have to overdress the same way you would in an interview (especially as it relates to trousers and shoes) but you can
really bring in some magic with your shirt, top, blouse or even shirt and tie.
f. No food and drinks (if you must drink, let it be water) Because most video calls aim at creating a productive session where
important things are discussed, eating and drinking by any call participants will create the food and drink to be the focus and not the
g. Raise your hand if you want to talk – If everyone on the call raises their hands before they talk then everyone will have an
opportunity to talk and be heard. The host can set the tone for the meeting and let everyone know that they should raise their hand
before they speak.
h. Mute yourself if you’re not talking – Aside from raising your hand, you might have to mute yourself if you’re not talking in order to
avoid possible background noises (people around you talking, construction noises, kitchen noise, birds and or pets) from your
environment from spilling over into the video call. This is even more important the bigger the number of meeting participants
because if 100 people have background noises then the meeting experience is damaged due to the compound effect of many noises.
i. Share your audio if you’re sharing video – Other meeting participants will only be able to enjoy the video you’re showing as you
screen share if you remember to share your audio as well.