We've all quickly discovered the utility of video conferencing. It's a great way to keep your projects moving and to stay in touch and business associates. How you video conference with your clients and business associates is critically important when it comes to your reputation and how you want to be perceived professionally. This visual representation is what your clients will remember after the call is over. Remember "a picture is worth a thousand words"? Still true. And the only picture your business contacts have of you may be the one they see on Zoom, Google Hangouts or Gotomeeting. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of this on-screen time.
1. Familiarize yourself with the features of the software. Play with the software before the meeting to figure out how to mute and unmute yourself and to see how you want to set up your desktop and how you see the participants. This may take a few minutes so don't wait until your call begins before doing this.
Take a moment to adjust your camera. You want your face to be approximately centered in your screen. Have your camera right around your eye level. If it's too low your associates will see too much of the inside of your nose and too much ceiling.
2. Make yourself and your background presentable. You may not want to dress the same way you dress for an in-person meeting but neat, casual clothing is better than sweats or pajamas. For the background, walls with color show well, as does colorful artwork. At the very least, make sure the area your associates will be seeing in the shot is neat and camera-ready.
Lighting plays a big role in whether or not your associates can see your face. Sitting with your camera facing the window in the daytime sometimes causes your face to be in shadow. Play with your screen at different angles to see how the lighting looks best.
3. Warn others in your home that you'll be on a video conference.
4. Wear pants!!!
5. When you're not talking, people can still see you. Use the same etiquette you would use when sitting in a face-to-face meeting. No cell phone use, sit relatively still, with good posture. And keep the eating and drinking to a minimum.