Whether you’re collaborating with a colleague down the hall or a client on the other side of the globe, video conferencing enables frequent face-to-face meetings whenever they’re needed. But like any technology, there are challenges to using it well. Begin following these eight best practices today and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a video conferencing rockstar:

#1 Use a Headset
Nothing impacts productivity more than choppy audio quality. Help others hear you clearly by wearing a headset. This will reduce outside noises and disruptive echoes. If you’re on a multiparty call, be sure to mute your microphone when you’re not speaking to avoid adding any additional background noise. Also, avoid meeting delays and potential embarrassment by checking your speakers and audio to make sure they’re working properly before the show goes on.

#2 Watch Your Lighting and Positioning
Basking in sunlight is scrumptious, so who doesn’t love a window in their office? But, when it comes to video conferencing, don’t position yourself so it’s behind you. Natural light is harsh and creates a silhouette effect. It’s best to sit with your back to a wall, and if you have a window, lower the shade.Also, the wall behind you is an opportunity to broadcast your brand. Hang a sign with your company logo and decorate tastefully around it to give yourself some extra professional polish. It’s a great way to promote your products and services without saying a word.If there’s no window in your room, make sure it’s bright enough by turning on more lights or adding a lamp. The ideal way to illuminate your face is to point the light towards it and to look in its direction. Again, make sure the source isn’t positioned behind you.

#3 Communicate with Confidence
When you start, ask participants if they’re able to view content or hear you clearly. However, if only one person has a problem, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to solve their network or hardware issue. Record the meeting and offer to share it with everyone, so those having networking troubles will have access to it.Try not to turn your head from side-to-side while you’re speaking, look directly at the camera, and avoid looking down. (Recording the video will prevent the need for note taking, keeping your head up.) Also, when sharing content, be sure to position it so that you’re still looking directly at the camera while referring to it.It’s always helpful to learn as you go. By studying a recording of a conference you participated in, you’ll be able to notice any little habits or gestures you use that are distracting. This way you can make minor tweaks that will help you become a more professional speaker.

#4 Announce When a Recording Starts
Use proper meeting etiquette. Let everyone know ahead of time that you’re recording it. This will help the meeting stay focused by minimizing personal conversations. Also, be sure to provide attendees with access to the recording. This will help everyone to be engaged.

#5 Avoid Dressing with Patterns
To appear your best, wear light, neutral earth tones or solid, pastel colors. Light blue is an excellent color. Avoid wearing any fabrics with distracting patterns, such as stripes or polka dots, the colors red or white, or any bright color.

#6 Adjust Your Camera Angle
By using self-view mode, you can test the angle of your camera prior to a call. Avoid awkward angles and position your webcam at eye level.We’re all on the move… a lot! If you’re using your mobile device for a video call, keep it as steady as possible and hold it out in front of you at eye level.

#7 Resist the Urge to Multitask
Keep your eyes on the camera. Today, everyone operates in multitask mode. It’s how we function. But, during a call, avoid this at all costs. It’s professional video etiquette to give your participants your complete attention. Avoid the urge to check your email or phone while listening. Also, try not to look down for long periods of time.

#8 Be Prepared
Arrive early to the meeting and make sure your audio and video are working. If you’re hosting a multiparty call with multiple presenters, get a copy of their presentation, just in case they have difficulties with sharing content. Be sure to watch the time and keep the meeting moving according to schedule.

By following these best practices for a video call, you’ll be able to host a productive, professional meeting.  To learn more about video conferencing from an expert with over two decades of experience, contact your local IVCi Sales Representative at 800-224-7083 or visit www.ivci.com.