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Tips to conduct productive video conferencing calls

Video conferencing is a growing meeting phenomenonOver the last few years, there’s been a major shift in the way meetings are being conducted in small and large organizations. From a workplace novelty to a collaboration essential, video conferencing quickly gained momentum and is now being widely used to run efficient meetings. As businesses lean towards cloud-based technology, online meeting and webcast tools become crucial to drive team communications.

A recent survey by a communications firm indicated that about 54% of the surveyed employees regularly use video conferencing to conduct business meetings. While it is beneficial to adapt to new business tools such as video conferencing, it is equally important to learn and effectively train your employees to improve the video conferencing experience.

A bad conference call can ruin your team’s progress and lead to low productivity and other inefficiencies. There are a lot of factors to be considered when it comes to having a successful video conferencing call. Here are top 5 tips to make your video conferencing calls more productive and effective:

Start by doing a little prep

Send a meeting agenda to all your participantsWhen meeting participants aren’t in the same time zones, it’s imperative that you take their time into consideration and allow them some time to prepare for the meeting. Start by sharing a meeting agenda that lists down all the discussion points. When you send out meeting items in advance, it not only helps attendees to review and formulate their thoughts, but it also sets certain expectations for meeting outcomes. Prep always helps!

Share important documents and links 

Share reference files or images before meetingsIt’s always better to share important documents, presentations or any website links with the attendees prior to the call. This ensures that participants have ample time to peruse through the documents, form their opinions or share feedback. It also prevents them from having side-conversations or multitasking during video conferencing calls. Moreover, you don’t have to fumble mid-way or search frantically for the right reference while making a point during your live presentation.

Allocate time for everything and everyone to settle down

Give a couple of minutes to warm up before kickstarting a meeting.If you are the meeting host, ensure you join the call before everyone else and allow everyone else to take a couple of minutes to warm-up or settle after joining in. It’s possible that after just joining the call, participants might face audio issues or have weak wi-fi. Or they might be looking forward to proper introductions or need some time to gather their courage due to fear of public speaking. So having a couple of minutes to gather themselves before the meeting begins always helps them to focus better and avoid mid-meeting distractions.

Ensure you have alternate ways to connect

Having a backup plan helps.It’s always better to have a back-up plan, isn’t it? Meetings may always not go the way we want them to. Sometimes, participants are distracted with background noise or perhaps there are technology glitches that prevent you from connecting with your remote participants. It helps to be prepared for all consequences. In case things go wrong, there are always alternative ways to connect to the meeting – for instance through their laptops or using a mobile or speakerphone, even collaborating through an online file-sharing tool (e.g., Google docs). If you have a collaborating tool that allows team chat or  team voice calling; it might help to simply connect over a call.  

Strategize, organize and keep it concise

Video conferencing requires the right tools One of the greatest benefits of video conferencing is that it enables us to run meetings from anywhere— be it from the office, during travel or in comfort of our own homes. But this also presents us with different challenges of its own. By implementing the right strategy to conduct efficient video conferencing calls, you can create your own guidelines for effective business communications. Selecting a good video conferencing software can help you organize, manage and run these meetings with ease. While strategy and the right tools can take your video meetings to the next level, keep your online meetings brief and precise; so that you can maximize team productivity.    

Sometimes, the old rules of running successful meetings don’t necessarily apply to video meetings. Experimenting with different methods and tools can help you gain new skills to engage your team members and lead you to successfully achieve those meeting objectives.

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Written by Team CounterPath on June 5, 2019

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