Many companies are realizing the benefits of video conferencing and have been busy incorporating the video communication programs in their workplaces. Video conferences are currently used more than phone calls and emails in the training of employees. However, many people still make lots of communication errors in their conferencing sessions, and this makes the experience sub-optimal. Poor video communication skills have led to many frustrating online conferences, and this is why they need to be addressed urgently.
Effective Video Communication Skills
Video conferences are very similar to one-on-one meetings. However, in face to face meetings, it is much easier to get feedback from your audience. Video communication has its own rules and these must be followed if you intend to have a seamless conferencing session.
Preparing for the Conference
Video conferencing involves using tools and software such as ezTalks Cloud Meeting. It is best to set up and test the microphones before the time of the meeting since these can bring up issues later on. Delays can affect the energy and flow of the meeting, and this will have a negative effect on your communication. Make sure the video communication programs are configured correctly in order to avoid disruptions in the middle of the conference.
Since the conference is visual, your audience will be watching your non-verbal cues. For this reason, you should make sure your hands are clearly seen in the video, and your facial expression should always match the mood and subject. You should always have very clear videos for the best communication experience. People will get distracted if your video gets blurry or excessively bright, even if it only covers your hands.
To get the perfect video, make sure the camera is well positioned with regard to the lighting of the room. You also need to avoid wearing very bright colors as these can affect the mood of the images. In the same vein, you shouldn’t wear inappropriate clothes just because you are conferencing from home. You still need to look professional.
The positioning of the screen should be made to cover people more than objects around the room. If you are alone in the room, try to get your face at the center of the camera. This will help the people on the other end to stay focused on your image as you talk.
Similarly, you shouldn’t have inappropriate items in the view of the camera. Your environment should be presentable, or at least what the people on the other end expect to see. It is best to have the entire room looking presentable since the cameras might need to be adjusted as the meeting progresses. In a worse case, the camera could fall and expose your poorly maintained house. This will affect the natural flow of communication in the conference.
The most important thing to remember is to stay silent as the person on the other end talks. A commonly made mistake in video conferences is keeping the microphone on when the person on the other side is speaking. Even if you are silently waiting for the other person to finish talking, it is important to mute your microphone since elements in the room can create echo from the bridge. In addition, you should mute the microphone when shifting its position.
At the start of a meeting, you should confirm whether your microphone is working by greeting the people on the other end. You can even ask them to introduce themselves if it is your first conference. When doing this, you should also establish the volume that they are most comfortable with. Ideally, you should test the audio quality, voice speed and volume level with a friend or colleague before getting into a serious conference. Usually, your normal voice should suffice. Shouting can actually make the conference unpleasant for you and the other people in the conference.
In the first few minutes of the conference, you should be extra patient since the voice might take some time to reach the other end of the meeting. If you pose a question or say something which requires a response, give it a short while before you repeat yourself.
Finally, you should limit side talk. Activities such as going through emails or text messages should be put off till the conference is over. The people on the other end can easily tell if you are distracted, and this will affect the whole communication experience. You might also get tempted to watch yourself on the screen of your computer. This will make your audience feel like you are not paying enough attention to what they have to say. Instead, you should maintain eye contact with whoever is speaking.