Last Updated on April 10, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck
Video calls and conferences have become a part of everyday life since 2020. Did you know that 45 percent of teams use video at least weekly, and 80 percent of employees use videos for 1-to-1 meetings? No matter who you are or where you work, you are unlikely to get away from the video camera on your laptop.
So then, what are the best practices for video calls? Read on for insight into some of the things I believe make video calls great—and where you need to pay attention.
Being confident on camera is not the same as being good on camera. Similar to presenting to a boardroom of your superiors and peers, it takes practice and sometimes coaching.
If you are new to being on camera for a call, some of the best practices for video calls go hand-in-hand with these four tips for video conferencing:
- Look professional
- Act professional
- Make eye contact with the camera
- Ensure your background is neat and lighting is effective
Beyond your video call, being good on camera can also help you promote your business or product. Let every camera opportunity be a learning and refining experience. You owe it to yourself to improve after each video call.
Video helps everyone—the more prepared you are, the better the call goes.
What to Wear, Do, and Say on Camera
You might not have a massive budget for clothing, but it’s essential to remain tidy and presentable in all situations. You can look great without spending a lot of money. Carefully consider that your clothing should be business professional, pressing any button-down shirts and ensuring your clothing and accessories are coordinated and kept.
The best practices for video calls evolve and change based on your audience and the call’s format.
Aim to include your branded background—rather than your kitchen appliances. Keep your environment quiet—don’t schedule roofers. Lastly, the best camera angle for video conferencing is slightly above your eye line as it’s a more flattering view of your face. If you do not have an adjustable ring light for your call, consider setting up your desk by a window with flattering and consistent light. Please do not turn on the lights behind you since they will look like a shadow. Lastly, connect a professional microphone with direct connections to your device for the best audio and video.
Meeting etiquette for virtual meetings is similar to in-office etiquette. Comb your hair, wear professional clothing, and be ready to contribute to the conversation.
As a reminder, some ground rules for video conferencing include not interrupting, not checking email while on the call, and being engaged in the conversation. Hence, you are ready to provide insight and help if asked. If you are the leader of the call or the MC, ensure the presenting permissions are set before the start of the call. Many digital conferencing sites will let you auto-mute or auto-hide participants who do not need access to engage with the presentation. As always, start the video call before the start time to account for technical difficulties or unexpected software upgrades.
If you’re uncertain of virtual meeting etiquette and video conferencing etiquette, err on the side of caution and remain silent. However, as difficult as it might sound, I advise you to keep your camera on throughout the meeting—even if others turn off their camera. If you’re prepared and look professional, you’ll be a leader for your peers and, hopefully, make a good impression.
If it makes sense, try to smile and engage other call members whenever you speak. Show that you are interested in asking specific and meaningful questions. It would be best to pretend you are selling to a client or trying to impress your boss during every video call.
While there are dozens of other tips to help you master the best practices for video calls, it’s essential to master a few before you master the many.
If you are a small business or business owner looking to improve your skills and refine your best practices for video calls, fill out my “Get Started,” form for a complimentary video coaching call with me.