Whether you work from home regularly or are following the government guidelines to work from home where possible to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, enhancing our communication skills is never a bad thing to do.
Maybe video conferences are part of your regular working week but set within a familiar office environment or maybe you are new to hosting meetings using video call methods. Whatever the individual situation brushing up or refreshing your digital communication skills for the working from home environment can only be a good thing for your business. These top tips below should help to add a little more confidence when it comes to video calls and conferences.
With so many of us relying on digital methods of communication, and even more so in the current situation, it is all too easy to become complacent with our equipment and forget to run regular scans and updates. Maintaining the performance of your digital devices by checking for updates consistently means when your halfway through a call you are less likely to be affected by a digital glitch interrupting your calls.
Test the setup of your digital call method with a family member’s digital device before answering that important work meeting call. There’s nothing worse than attempting to answer the call from your boss and cutting them off before you begin.
Collect any documents, files or information you will need during your meeting and have them close to hand. Being organised and prepared boosts confidence.
Working as a team within a regular work setting may come easy to your employees and your business but take away the familiar work environment and people may feel separated and less confident. Enhance confidence and strengthen team morale by ensuring everyone has the appropriate resources and equal access to shared work areas and drives. Be sure that colleagues know how to use the software before you begin any calls.
The right environment
Working from home isn’t always easy, not everyone has a home set up that allows for a separate office space and right now more than one family member could be in the position of remote working.
When taking a conference call it is important to factor in the environment around you, setting yourself up with the washing drying behind you doesn’t exactly set the best impression for a professional meeting, remember the camera doesn’t just pick you up in its view! Frame the camera before you begin, think about what you do and don’t want to share from your remote working environment and don’t forget to limit disruptions from any background noise where possible to ensure clear and confident work calls.
Though many of us wouldn’t want to be placed under a spotlight ensuring the lighting during your video call is set correctly will ensure a clear image for the other people involved. Seeing people in person during real-time improves communications and builds stronger relationships and so being seen is an important aspect of your call.
Adjust any lightening in the room to provide the best set up. Lighting from below creates spooky shadows and light directly above creates an intense appearance. Natural light from the side is the most successful but avoid glare, shadows and reflections from bright sunlight.
Video calling can be nerve-wracking and add in four or more people with a conference call and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and lose confidence. Boost confidence by remaining organised and focussed. Look directly into the camera otherwise, you can appear to be looking off-screen which can come across as showing a lack of interest even if you are intently listening.
One of the most important aspects when it comes to arranging video calling is to be considerate and even more so during these unprecedented times. Provide meeting times in advance where possible to allow employees to prepare. Remember to consider time zones if communicating internationally and be considerate to individual family circumstances.
Consideration, organisation and preparation are the key elements to achieving confident and successful video calls and conferences when working from the office or home and remember a smile goes a long way.