5 Ways to Make Video Conferencing Less Terrible
Have you ever been embarrassed by your video conferencing skills?
Plenty of us, have. From the sounds of children shouting in the background to sudden notification pop-ups, the list of casual embarrassments is huge.
However, we often deny a few precautions that could improve our overall video conferencing experience.
But before we move further, we need to look at some of the most common mistakes while being on a video conference call.
Common Mistakes On Video Calls
Delivering A Monologue
One might prefer saying all their viewpoints and putting forward their argument in one go. This is done to avoid speaking when others will continue the discussion or to avoid participating in a proper discussion.
While this is bound to show the speaker’s disinterest towards what others have to say, it will also impact his argument.
Monologue’s Impact On The Speaker’s Credentials
- Participants tend to forget your stated points after a few minutes: Bulk amounts of data get blanked out when stated continuously. So, the entire conclusion of your viewpoint will be vaporized by the time you finish speaking about it.
- Your facial expressions start getting vague: There is a reason why companies prefer video conferencing over audio conferencing. Video conferencing is akin to face to face interaction and allows speakers to stress their words via making use of facial expressions, hands, etc.
But once the speaker decides to deliver a monologue for say 10 minutes straight, the expressions keep on getting vaguer with each minute. Hence, important points tend to get ignored by other members because of insufficient stress on them.
- Your information can be incomplete or understated: When a speaker decides to speak his mind in a single go, he chooses to ignore valuable points and suggestions to be made by others. These points could either make his argument stronger or prove it to be entirely false.
Speaking in one go limits the chance of making corresponding changes to your information and impacts the entire discussion poorly.
Ignoring The Background
Your statements might be worthy of mass attention, but if our background screams negligence, your talk won’t flatter much.
Consider this from an example.
What if ted talks were organized on a beach, with Bill Gates wearing his Bermuda’s and talking about why teachers need real feedback?
Would you be willing to listen? Not me, for sure.
If Bill Gates can’t appeal to an audience on a beach, then how can you appeal to your colleagues while sitting in the backdrop of dirty dishes?
Also, you don’t need a professional set up to make yourself sound much more serious and flattering. A few simple steps can ensure you a good background within minutes, about which we will discuss later on.
Sticking With The Default Settings
Often, we tend to stick to the default settings of the various equipment used during the process. From microphone to the software used, each piece of equipment calls for a specific setting for video conferencing.
Blurred audio or poor camera focus does not only create a lot of confusion about what you intend to say but sometimes other members might choose to leave the conference as well.
Too Many Gestures
Facial and body expressions help a long way when trying to stress on a point, however, too much of them, especially on a video conference can be annoying.
Often, too many gestures tend to impact the focus of the participants. A slouchy back or a constant shift in eye focus can divert the attention of the members.
Not Being On Time
This might sound obvious, but given the large chunk of people constantly compromising on their punctuality, this had to be mentioned.
If you are holding a video conference for some official purpose and tend to come late, you have already lost 70% of your battle.
By arriving late, you give an impression of disrespect towards other people’s time and effort.
Not Using The Right Technology
Using the correct microphone or speaker is one of the most important aspects when it comes to video conferencing. There are plenty of companies making some of the finest equipment in this niche.
It also becomes imperative to position them properly, in order to have an overall good experience. If the camera lens is not adjusted properly, you might give a hard time to your colleagues. So, make sure to check all your equipment before hitting the desk.
Now that we are aware of the mistakes people tend to commit, let us look at the bright side. The next section will help you understand how you can troubleshoot all these issues while simultaneously being a good speaker.
Best Video Conferencing Tips
Video conferencing involves 2 broad-spectrum, i.e technical and semantic. Let us understand how you can improve your video conferencing experience by focusing on these 2 areas.
First things first, let’s talk about the technicalities involved with video conferencing and how they can be improved.
Audio Related Issues
Poor quality sound is the biggest problem one can face during a video conference. Given below are some of the key tips to sort this out.
- Volume Control Issues: If you are one of those who keep the volume at a bare minimum, then it’s time to be more specific about this.
Low volume often tends to frustrate the listeners and divert their attention while software incapable of filtering background noise can severely impact your talking time.
- Audio Transmission Issues: Audio is sometimes found to be not in sync with the speaker. This is because of transmission issues that crop up because of poor internet connection.
Video Related Issues
One of the core reasons people prefer video conferencing over audio conferencing is because of an added advantage of non-verbal communication. However, if the said tool fails to give an “as good as personal” experience, then participants start looking for ways to avoid it.
- Pixelation: Movements in the video often appeared as blocky.
- Video freeze: The video suddenly stops automatically while the audio goes on.
- Grainy: Grainy patches can be found over the video feed.
Resolving Technical Glitches
First of all, You need to find out who is bearing the brunt of the technical issues. Is it you only or a particular person or the entire team of people experiencing the issues.
- If you are the sole bearer, then you might want to change your device or connection.
- If some other member is experiencing the glitch, you can recommend them to reconnect or change their device as well.
- If everyone else is suffering from these issues, then the problem might have begun from the end of the person who initiated it.
Once you have recognized who the affected parties are, you need to assess the frequency of the technical glitch.
- If it occurs just once, then it might have been prompted because of a poor internet connection.
- If the problem occurs every time you are on a call, then you might need to troubleshoot this problem.
Troubleshooting Process For Removing The Technical Hindrance
Once you have identified the “who and how many” of the issue, it’s time to finally solve the issue using a few steps.
Try An Alternative Application For Conference Purpose
Your current application might not be in sync with your OS, hence it’s time for you to shift to a new one.
Reconnect To Your Wifi
You need to reconnect to your wifi if the issue persists. Also, if all the members are sharing the same network, then shifting to a new network could be the ideal solution.
Contact Your Desktop Administrator In Case Of The Device Issue
If the problem is arising because of a hardware problem, a desktop administrator could be the solution.
Now that we are aware of technical barriers, let us work our way through semantic issues which are often experienced on a much wider scale.
These are related to language and body movements that often perplex the members of the video conference. Some of the key steps to reduce them include the following.
Choose A Proper Background
One cannot stress enough the importance of a proper background.
- Go for a clean background. Ensure there are no dirty laundries or dilapidated home furniture.
- Choose a spot with proper lighting. If you are confused, then go for natural lighting.
- If you are home, ask your family members to avoid speaking loudly or hijacking the video conference with a sudden football show.
Don’t Speak In Between
If you can’t restrain yourself from putting out your opinions, it’s better to mute while other people are speaking. Make proper use of your turn to include all those points and your assessment of them.
Look Straight Into The Camera
Even though it might sound like a very negligible issue, it’s a cardinal sin for other participants. When a member is looking at some other point while talking, it is often very uncomfortable for other people to focus.
Make sure to adjust your camera properly in the beginning. This will help you stay focused.
Wear Proper Clothes Suitable For The Purpose
By proper we don’t mean a luxury tux, but wearing a vest would be too informal for the purpose. It is better to choose anything between “too board meeting and beach appropriate.”
Video conferencing is a major tool for re-establishing the norms in a highly dynamic world. It is important to be on time and make as much use of the opportunity to collaborate with others.
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on video conferencing tips in the comments section.