Hosting better video conferencing calls can mean the difference between productivity and lethargy. When callers become bored, they tend to become easily distracted and to disengage from the subject matter. That doesn’t make for a very effective conference call! You’ll want to take steps to make your conference calls more interesting and easier to access in order to keep everyone alert, engaged, and participating.
These six tips will help you reorganize your conference calls so that everyone participates and the call is successful. We’ll cover using an agenda to plan out the call, choosing the right video platform for HD quality video/audio feeds, and much more! Here are our six tips for hosting a better video chat.
1. Always Use An Agenda
Always. A call without an agenda is like a ship out at sea with no compass. You’ll be tossed about in the waves, unable to find your way back to the original topic once everyone gets to talking about office gossip, the game, their favorite TV show, or the latest political topic. Using an agenda ensures your call has direction, and it acts as an anchor that you can come back to when the conversation derails.
A good agenda is simple; it contains the goals for the call, time and place of the call, and usually a guest list. These three simple pieces of information can make a huge difference in the success or failure of a video conference call. Be sure to think about your topics; what do you want to discuss, why do you need to discuss it, and what is your desired outcome?
If you’re unsure how to create a good meeting agenda, you can always use a template (of which there are hundreds available online). There are also tutorial videos available on platforms like YouTube.
2. Troubleshoot Beforehand
If you’ve ever been in a conference call with someone who was having technical difficulties, you know how distracting it can be. Crackling microphones and pixelated video feeds don’t exactly equal good meetings. Be sure to troubleshoot your equipment and software before the call. Give yourself a few minutes to check your audio feed (most programs have an audio testing feature) and to ensure you’re getting HD-quality video from your webcam or phone.
3. Use The Right Platform
Using a sub-par video conference calling service only serves to derail the call in the long run. Not only are you paying a monthly fee (in some cases) for your sub-par service, but you’re also exposing clients and other team members to the software, which could leave a bad impression. The good news is that you don’t have to pay for good video conferencing software, as there are free versions available, but you’ll want to research the brand you want to use before committing to it.
4. Record It
Perhaps one of the best ways to have better conference calls is to record them and review the calls afterward. Reviewing lets you see any mistakes you made, identify any roadblocks that appeared during the call, and shows you who wasn’t paying attention. Most conferencing services have a recording option. Your calls will be stored in a cloud for later review, so you won’t have to worry about storing them yourself.
Recording the call also makes it easier to remember the extensive topics you might have covered and can provide protection for you in the event of misinformation. Most law professionals record their calls, and some businesses use recorded calls for training purposes.
5. Keep The Call Small
The more people you invite to the call, the greater the chance that the call will become chaotic. It’s much easier to direct a few people than it is a few dozen. Take a closer look at your guest list; does everyone on it truly need to attend the call? Does Joel from accounting need to be on the call? What about Greg from HR? Do we really need to bother the CEO about the subject matter?
Trimming the guest list can ensure a smooth, productive call with minimal interruptions. Let’s be honest; Amelia isn’t exactly the best at keeping things on-topic, anyway. She can sit this one out.
6 .Master Your Call Controls
The mute button should be your best friend during a call. If you’re the host, you also have the ability to mute others, end the connection, and remove disruptive callers altogether. Don’t be afraid to use your host controls; if someone is being disruptive, that’s what the mute button is for! On the other hand, remember to use the mute button for yourself, as well. If you’re experiencing a lot of background noise, it’s considered good call etiquette to mute your microphone.
Hosting better video conferencing calls is simple; you’ll need an agenda, a trimmed guest list, the right platform, good troubleshooting before the call, good call controls, and recording abilities. Once you master these six tips, you’ll be hosting top-notch calls for all of your video meetings.