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How to Give the Best Impression During Video Conferences (Teams, Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Slack, etc.)

Many businesses have a wider reach than they ever did in the past. For example, you may need to source materials or consult with potential partners in different states or countries. In addition, advances in Internet connectivity, security and the recent COVID-19 pandemic have made it so that you might not need or want to meet clients in person or vice versa. Instead, video conferencing has become more prevalent, which comes with different requirements and societal expectations. The guide below offers best practices for these meetings.

1. Set the Stage Early

When preparing for an in-person business meeting, you likely planned to get to the location a little early to account for possible traffic. Even though the “commute” to a video conference is virtually nonexistent, you should still log in to the program early. 

While having reliable broadband internet prevents lags that could waylay meetings, you should ensure all updates have been made to the video call software. This also allows you to queue your presentation up and preview how you will look on the screen. 

Check that the lighting and background of the room you are in is appropriate. If you’ll be talking for a long time, consider grabbing a bottle of water to help you speak clearly throughout the meeting.

2. Project Confidence & Professionalism

Video conference calls may only display you from the shoulders up. However, you should make sure that you dress appropriately. Not only does this make you seem more credible to potential partners or clients, but it can put you in the right mindset, which can improve your posture. 

Make good eye contact with the other party. To help with this, push the computer back and adjust the camera before the meeting so that your eyes are 1/3 of the way down the screen. 

Shut down other applications or monitors that could be distracting. Give your contact 100% of your attention.

3. Drive Engagement

While video calls have many advantages, the setup can lend itself to less participation from the audience than an in-person meeting. However, it also has features that can boost involvement.

For example, you can share reports, PowerPoint, websites, quotes or video links directly with your audience so that they can better visualize the topic at hand and take notes on the downloaded presentation. If you are conducting an online training program for new staff members, being able to view the names of everyone in attendance on the screen enables you to ask them specific questions about the material. Praise intelligent questions and out-of-the-box thinking to encourage others to contribute the same.