How to Video Conference from Home
As businesses and organizations shift to a work-from-home model, more people than ever before are utilizing video conferencing software to connect with coworkers and conduct business. Meetings are moving almost entirely online, which means employees are having to learn not only how to set up a video conference call, but also how to do video conferencing both successfully and professionally. It's a lot to learn on your own — but we're here to help. The following are just a few friendly tips for how to do a video conference call from home.
Whether you host a video or are an attendee, it's important to be prepared before your video conference call. Have some talking points ready. If you plan to share your screen to discuss a document or webpage, make sure you send a copy or a link to the webpage well before the video meeting so everyone has access to it. This cuts down on wasted time during video calls and ensures everyone is on the same page at the start of the meeting.
First impressions mean everything. This does not stop with a video conference call. Just because you're working from home rather than face to face doesn't mean you should look disheveled or come dressed in your pajamas when attending a video meeting. But, you certainly don't have to dress in your nicest suit either. There's a business-casual middle ground that is more than appropriate for a video conference call from home. As long as you're wearing pants and a button-up shirt or blouse, you should be good. And be sure to brush your hair!
Set Up Your Physical Space
Your space and physical video conferencing setup can have just as much of an impact as your appearance during a video meeting. Try to emulate the professionalism of an office conference room as much as possible. Opt for a bright spot with natural light and a neutral background, like a wall. This will ensure your face is clear and there are no distractions behind you. If you don't have natural light, sit under soft, fluorescent lighting that won't be too harsh. You'll also want to ensure your video camera is set up at eye level so you're not looking up or down during the call.
If you have kids or pets, ask someone to take care of them during your video conference call. If this isn't a possibility, engage your child in an activity they enjoy and put your pet in a back room. However, things do happen, and if a child or pet barges into your meeting, don't stress over it. When anyone works remotely, there are always unforeseen circumstances that can arise. Simply ask your coworkers if you can step away for a moment, and they'll likely be more than understanding given the current situation.
Close All Other Apps and Tabs On Your Computer
In addition to ensuring your physical space at home is properly set up, take the time to tidy up your desktop as well. Having too many open apps and pages can severely slow down your computer if you're in a video meeting. This is typically why you'll hear the computer's fan start to spin or experience a lag in the conferencing software. Save your work and close any apps or tabs that aren't pertinent to your video meeting. You especially want to close any program or page that contains personal information if you're planning to share your screen during the meeting. Basically, eliminate any background noise that will draw attention away from the task at hand. This will help you create the perfect video conferencing setup.
Test Your Internet Connection, Video, and Audio
A crucial aspect of how to video conference successfully from home is having a good internet, video and audio connection. Before your video conference call, ensure everything is connected and working properly. Use online testing tools to test your internet speed. If the connection is poor, try moving closer to your Wi-Fi router, boosting your signal or upgrading your internet speed. Most cloud-based video conferencing software, like Fuze, Skype and Google Hangouts Meet, offer a test call service to ensure your connection is up to snuff.
Mute Your Microphone When Not Speaking
While this seems like a small thing, having your microphone on while someone else is speaking is extremely unprofessional, not to mention annoying for everyone else on the video conference call. A mic can pick up more background noise than you realize. From barks to breathing, your coworkers will hear everything going on in your home. Because of this, it's best to keep yourself muted most of the time, only unmuting when you need to speak. If you need to get up or do something during the call, it's a good idea to switch off your video as well to avoid causing unwanted distractions.
We know. There are so many distractions when working from home. And when you're on your computer or phone for a video conference call, it can be tempting to look at your inbox or social media. We're here to tell you to resist the urge. The best way to video conference is to be engaged and pay attention when someone else is speaking, just as you would if you were in the office sitting in a conference room.
Whether you're listening or speaking, you're extremely visible in a video meeting. Keep in mind that people tend to look at themselves or the chat window while speaking and this can appear as if you're distracted. So, when it's your turn to talk, look straight ahead and focus your eyes on the camera. Speak clearly and watch your speed, making sure to talk at a normal volume. You should treat every video meeting as if it's a real-life meeting, because it is.
Discover the Best Way to Video Conference. Discover Fuze.
Thousands of business professionals use Fuze each and every day to connect and engage through our enterprise-grade unified communications platform and video conferencing solution. Learn how we're breaking down the barriers to communication so your employees can do their very best work, collaborating whenever and wherever they want. Contact us today to experience for yourself why Fuze remains the leader in global, cloud-based conferencing software.Learn More About Fuze Meetings