April 12, 2021 - It seems like everything is done over a video call these days. There are pros and cons to this because conference calling can be very useful for both education and business professionals. However; it can be intimidating if you have not yet mastered the "art" of the conference call. Hopping on a video call with your peers, boss, or clients can be made simpler with the right professional technology and mindset to conquer.
A video conference call has become the norm during times of COVID, and it definitely does offer convenience. Whether you're in your office or working from home, it has become rare to have in-person meetings. On the plus side, no one can tell if you're wearing pajama bottoms to your conference call, as long as it's business on top. However, some people may have trouble getting used to fully virtual meetings, and getting comfortable with video conferencing. If you can relate, we have some suggestions to help you master your next conference call!
Use Professional Technology
First and foremost, it's important to make sure you have professional technology for video conference calls. While your integrated laptop web camera might do the trick on a call, the picture is usually blurry and the audio could come across as inconsistent and low quality. If you can, it truly makes a difference to show up with a crisp picture and clear audio. Whether you're impressing a potential client, speaking with coworkers, or even teaching a group of students; you'll want to show up to the call prepared with technology that you can trust like:
High-definition accessories. Having external equipment like The Clear Touch Web Camera and Tripod Kit will up your conference call game and make you stand out. These products boast high-quality with a built-in microphone, high-fidelity speakers, and compatibility with most popular devices. They make it simple to shut the world out and tune into your next meeting, online class, or conference call.
Huddle cameras. If you really want to up your conference game, The Clear Touch Huddle Camera makes remote communication loud and clear with a wide-angle 4K webcam, integrated audio, auto-tracking, and noise cancellation. These types of cameras provide a high-definition conference experience that will impress your peers and give you the comfortability of trustworthy technology that won't let you down during the call.
Headsets. It's easy to tune out during video calls, especially with all of the distractions that come from working from home. Using a headset like the Clear Touch Headset will help you hone into the conversation and shut out any background noise from your attendees' ears and your own. Headsets with microphones will also improve your audio, and everyone will thank you for eliminating excess fuzzy noise.
Keep a Confident Attitude
Confidence SHOWS! When you're on a conference call, try to remain self-assured. Your attitude and energy show more than you might think, and if you act confident in what you're saying and doing, you will begin to believe it.
For example, whether you are leading a meeting or webinar for your company or just an attendee on a quick video call, the way you speak will stick with those attending. Even if you don't enjoy talking on camera or in front of others in general, try to settle your nerves and maintain a confident and strong attitude so that you can bring the best version of yourself to the table.
Here's how to do so:
Make eye contact. Even if you're not feeling confident at the beginning of a call, fake it until you make it with eye contact. It's even simpler to maintain eye contact over video conferencing than in real life because all you have to do is look at the screen instead of the wall, your lap, your pet, etc. Holding eye contact will establish a connection between you and anyone on the call, which is so important when you can't be together in person. It shows you're paying attention, interested in what others have to say, and confident in your own points.
Remember to smile. Smiling at others on the call will brighten their mood and yours. Chances are, they're still adjusting to the whole concept of video calls too, and a positive attitude will set a happy tone for the call and make everyone feel less nervous to speak. A smile will lighten the mood, which is refreshing to many who may face serious video conferences each day. A smile is also relatable and lets others feel comfortable to be themselves with you.
Make conversation. Try asking your colleagues or students (whoever is on the conference call) about their day. Lighten the mood by pointing out something relatable, or telling them a bit about your own life. This will not only make you appear confident in yourself and talking to others but will make them feel more comfortable with both you and the call.
How to prepare your appearance for a confident call:
Meeting through a screen may not hold the same weight as meeting in person, but that doesn't mean you should lose sight of your professional appearance! If you put effort into your physical appearance, it will show that you respect this engagement and the time of those who are meeting with you. When you look great and put effort into how you appear on camera, you're more likely to close deals, make connections, and feel more confident while doing it.
Show up and show out by:
Having good posture. Keep your shoulders back, keep your head up, and try to sit up straight, and remain that way. For a continuous reminder, you could even place a sticky note near your web camera. This will not just make you appear more professional and prepared but will help you clear your mind for a job well done.
Dressing well. Even though you're not conferencing in person, it's still important to appear professional and dress to impress. From the waist up, that is. As we said, no one has to know if you're wearing your favorite pajama bottoms or sweat pants, as long as your camera angle is set properly!
Checking your surroundings. Whether you're using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, or any kind of video conferencing software; one thing remains the same for all. Your background is important! This is one of the first things people will notice when they hop on the call, and you don't want a messy room to catch their eye instead of your presentation. Take advantage of the customizable Zoom backgrounds, or arrange your technology in a clean, clear space.
Stay present. It may be easy to zone out or not give a video call your full attention, but it will not go unnoticed if you're not mentally checked in. Put away distractions, don't answer emails, keep your camera on, and make sure to nod and make comments to interact with the speaker on the call if it isn't you. You'll appear much more professional.
How to mentally prepare for a confident call:
So by now you look great and are ready for the camera. The next step is to feel ready and make sure you can speak with determination. After all, your video could go out at any time and you'd still need to be prepared to converse with your peers or lead the meeting with just your words.
We're come prepared ourselves with a few tips for you:
Practice makes perfect. It's so important to practice what you will say beforehand, especially if your video call is an interview or if you're leading the conference. This will reduce the chances of fumbling your words, even though it's understandable if you do. Running through the general idea of what you want to say in your meeting or speech