With the rise of hybrid working, video conferencing is now a staple of any business, whether it be for collaborating, sharing information, meetings, or just a catch up. Even job interviews have shifted into virtual space. It is an invaluable tool, but it can be easy for things to go wrong, and we’re not just talking about dodgy internet connections, and when you’re in a professional setting you want things to go as smoothly as possible. So let’s go through the best way to improve your video meeting experience.

1. Be on time

The best way to avoid any problems, awkwardness, and just plain impoliteness is to ensure you show up on time. A virtual meeting is just like any other, it doesn’t matter if you were in your pyjamas 5 minutes ago, so it’s best to treat it like that in every regard. Allowing ample time beforehand provides opportunity for you to check for any easily fixable problems and will save time down the line and reduce stress, allowing you to focus completely on the meeting itself.

2. Be aware of your surroundings

You want to check everything that’s showing up in your webcam window is the most presentable version you can make it and this doesn’t just mean ensuring your space is neat and tidy. Be aware of your lighting set up so you are brightly lit from the front not the back (natural light is best), reduce any extraneous noise, and if possible, make the wall space behind you pleasant to look at, or at least not distracting. If you have pets, make sure they aren’t going to interrupt either with making a guest appearance or loud barking.

3. Check your bandwidth

Nothing is more irritating in a video call than one party having choppy, pixelated screens and audio. Before a call, ensure that you don’t have anything eating up a lot of connection. This means checking if anyone else in your home is downloading large files, streaming video games or television, or using substantial software programs. If you keep running into this problem, check your internet speed to find out your capacity and if you’re not happy, consider trying another plan.

4. Mute etiquette

You might not realise it, but our microphones can pick up a lot of sound. Not only that but we also make a lot of sound even when we’re not talking. So, when you plan to just listen and not participate in the discussion for a while, mute your microphone so you don’t distract or disrupt the other parties. This is especially important in a public or crowded setting, or if you have children or pets.

5. Look into the camera

This is a common mistake people make on video calls, as it can be slightly awkward to stare directly into the camera or look at yourself on the screen, but if you look elsewhere, it can seem like you’re not paying attention or are distracted. Showing that you are focused and engaged will come across far more professional, so force yourself to do it until it comes naturally.