Ladies and gentlemen, the Internet is open for business! Of course, individuals and companies have been conducting their business affairs on the Internet for several decades, but now more than ever the Internet is the platform of choice for everything. Products, services, entertainment, and the sharing of ideas, a virtual marketplace and meeting place that exists in the electronic realm between our monitors and the armies of servers that run our content.
With so many businesses and freelancers plying their trade over the ether, the use of video conferencing solutions has grown exponentially. According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority over three-quarters (77%) of Australian adults used a communication app in the last year. Just like in the 80’s band the Buggle’s hit song Video Killed The Radio Star, around80% of company executives state that video conferencing is replacing audio conferencing as the go-to form of internal team communication, and 84% think video is outpacing audio in communicating with external stakeholders.
Due to this seachange in the way we conduct our affairs, new forms of etiquette have developed to help video conference participants interact successfully in their meetings. Here are some suggestions we have collected from the people on the front lines of this new method of doing business.
Adequate Lighting – Just as professional broadcasters and photographers rely on having the proper lighting to perform their jobs, the same requirement applies to video calls. Try not to sit directly under overhead lights because they will cast unattractive shadows beneath your eyes. Attempt to utilize sources of soft or natural light, two or more light sources are best for illuminating video call backgrounds and participants.
High-Quality Audio – Poor audio quality can be a real deal breaker in a video conference call. If the participants can’t hear each other, or their voices are garbled to the point they can’t make out what the other is saying, it all becomes an exercise in futility. Locate your interface in a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed. If you are working from home, you must make sure to prevent annoying background noises like dogs barking, people talking, kids playing loud video games and listening to music, etc. Be sure that you have a strong Wi-Fi connection to prevent choppy audio. Remember to speak slowly and clearly to avoid any possible misunderstandings.
Appropriate Attire – For some reason during the early inception of this technology, a lot of people thought that if they were working from home, they could join a video conference call with their employers and customers whilst wearing their pyjamas. No! While it may not be necessary to suit up in formal corporate attire, at least go for a business casual look. It’s highly advisable to treat the meet up the same as you would a real world gathering and dress appropriately, or maybe even a bit better if you want to impress. And, even if they can’t see below your waist, please wear pants!