In a short few months, virtual meetings have become a significant part of our lives. Gone are the meetings of yesteryear. Gone are the board rooms and office space. In their place, the new virtual world has taken prominence, in part due to the global pandemic.
Due to the quick adoption of virtual meetings, following lockdown, many are still adapting to this new normal. The possibilities of this new medium have yet to be explored. As such, many people are still treating them as if they were a replacement of the old. When, in fact, virtual meetings are revolutionary, offering a whole new experience.
Therefore, to enhance your virtual meeting experience, we’ve put together the best tips around. Read on.
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Frame the meeting
Previously, you never worried about your framing. You sat in the meeting in all your dimensions. But, stuck on a 2D screen, the positioning of the camera becomes of paramount importance. There are two significant aspects to consider: framing and lighting.
First, the frame: how do you want to be seen? We’ve all seen the video where someone’s head is partially cut off. The camera might be lower than their face, distorting and stretching their head. All manner of problems can occur. Instead, follow this simple rule. Keep the camera at eye level and directly in front.
Furthermore, you’re going to want to look directly into the camera. Doing so will display confidence. Other attendees will be more likely to listen to what you have to say. And, despite it feeling weird, you’ll actually seem more trustworthy: eye contact is valuable.
Next, fix your lighting. Don’t sit in the dark and gloomy shadows. Sit in the light. Aim for a natural light source: windows being the most obvious option. Position yourself next to or in front of the window. If the light comes from behind, you’ll appear like a silhouette. However, avoid the light being too bright, as you’ll appear washed out.
Use a virtual background
Once you’ve perfectly positioned your camera, you might find your background a little lacklustre. Or perhaps you value your privacy and don’t want colleagues snooping on your home. (Plus, people have gotten in trouble for books on their shelves and other aspects of their home décor.) As such, discover the best zoom office background available. Virtual backgrounds allow you to disguise your home, with one of the hundreds of backgrounds. At Hello Background, options range from stunning natural vistas to professional-looking meeting rooms. The choice is yours.
Appearance matters; but content is king. How you structure your meeting can determine the level of engagement. Long meandering discussions aren’t often fruitful. Instead, little is said and even less achieved. Paradoxically, the less time you have, the more successful a discussion can be.
As such, when crafting the agenda for a meeting, restrict each significant point to a ten-minute slot. During this period, you will need to discuss the topic and formulate a solution. Restrictive time spans help focus people’s minds. Furthermore, try to keep the meeting to 45 minutes. Any longer and people lose interest or become distracted. Remember, quality over quantity.
You might also consider starting with an icebreaker. A short game or quick quiz can spark engagement. It helps set the tone for the meeting and gets people talking. Consider using the virtual whiteboard for a game of Hangman or Pictionary.
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It’s easy to get off-topic in a virtual meeting. People start niche conversations about specific work topics. They seemingly forget everyone is listening in. Their audience becomes distracted and bored. The meeting grinds to a halt, or the engagement is never there in the first place. People are more occupied with their phones or other work to get involved.
Therefore, lay down some ground rules. Phones are banned. Multitasking is forbidden. Everyone should have their cameras on so you can tell who’s concentrating. Additionally, ask if people can turn off their notifications on their computer.
The more attention people give to the meeting, the more fruitful it will be. The more engaged people are, the most interesting. It’s a positive cycle.
Virtual meetings can be tricky. They require a new way of doing things. However, if you follow the above tips, you’ll be on the road to success.