Many businesses are hooked on video conferencing and would prefer it over having a simple phone conference. The draw is that it's cheaper than getting together in person and more personal than a phone call. Some say it also makes for better conversation; neither party is potentially distracted by other things due to having to stay in front of the camera. Video conferencing plays a huge part in business in every aspect from interviewing employees to securing business deals across the globe. Considering it's importance, there are several rules to follow to ensure the call is successful.
Don't do anything with your mouth but talk
Everything you do with your mouth while video conferencing is going to be a focal point, which means don't eat your dinner, suck on a lollipop, chew gum, smoke or drink your coffee. All you should be doing while on the call is talking.
Get dressed as if you're going out
Not being directly in front of the person is no excuse to wear pajamas or not wear pants. Do your hair and makeup and get dressed as if you're going out. Slippers, however, are perfectly acceptable.
Don't wear bright colors or patterns
Bright colors and patterns including neons, stripes and polka dots can be distracting on camera. Opt for basic black or neutral colors if possible. It may seem boring, but it'll prevent the other person's eyes from hurting while trying to talk with you.
Sit up straight
You may be at home relaxing in your comfy chair, but sit up straight rather than leaning on your hands, slouching or laying down. If you wouldn't do it in a boardroom, don't do it while video conferencing either.
Avoid moving around
It's tempting to get up and get something while video conferencing, but the person is then left staring at an empty screen. Make sure you have everything you need before you start the call. If you do have to get up, excuse yourself and let the person know what's going on. You should also avoid bopping your foot or lower leg if your legs are crossed. All the person can see on the other end is you making slight, but very distracting, motions with your body without being able to see what's going on from your waist down.
Limit the noise around you
Whether your dog is barking, the television is on in the other room or a car alarm is going off outside, all these noises can be incredibly annoying to the person on the other end of the video conferencing call. Give your dog a bone to chew on, turn the television off, close your windows and put yourself in a room where you'll have peace and quiet and won't be distracted.
Set proper lighting
Don't plant yourself in front of a window unless you want the person to have to wear sunglasses in order to see you. Florescent lighting will likely make you look strange while using too little lighting will put you in the shadows. Your best bet is to set up your computer several feet from a window so there's plenty of natural light without it being overwhelming.
The best way to ensure everything goes successfully is to pretend as if you're in an office meeting. You wouldn't put your head on the table or show up in your boxers, so you should follow the same rules while video conferencing. Plan ahead and get everything in order and it could end up being quite a rewarding call.
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