In an earlier post we talked about former US Transportation Department's Chief Information Officer Nitin Pradhan and his endorsement of the enterprise cloud for the unique and efficient communication options it offers. In particular, Pradhan highlighted how videoconferencing is made easier in the cloud, since it eliminates inconveniences like having to find a special room and making sure everyone is on screen. After all, linking up with a cloud service provider enables participants to engage through their own webcam, from the comfort of their desk. But just because you're at your desk doesn't mean videoconferencing etiquette shouldn't be observed. Here are some tips for successful videoconferencing from your computer that Pradhan and others offer:
1. Light your face properly: Never underestimate the power of lighting. If your desk is stowed away in some dark corner, you may want to either shift locations or try including a supplemental light source. Perhaps grab that LED lamp from the break room and position it so it shines down on your face.
2. Ensure participant engagement: In a brochure prepared for Pennsylvania State University professors who teach classes via videoconferencing technology, it's advised that they do a visual check of all the participants to make sure they're present and engaged. This same principle applies when you're leading a meeting. The last thing you want is to be midway through a presentation only to discover a participant's mic was off. A quick visual and audio check can prevent that hassle.
3. Maintain composure throughout: Just because you're not talking doesn't mean you're not being observed. If your boss's glance momentarily moves away from the speaker and onto you yawning, that doesn't look good. Pradhan advises that you treat the videoconference like an in-person meeting, bringing as much poise to your webcam as you would to the boardroom.
4. Plan ahead: In training its personnel to use videoconferencing, the New York Department of Labor gives them a series of steps to go over before each call begins, including tactics for holding the attention of an audience. This is an instance where government practice is good business practice as well. For instance, if your presentation has an accompanying PowerPoint file, it is worth checking in advance with the other session members to make sure PowerPoint is compatible with their system. Failing to do this could end up alienating some participants.
5. Address the camera: It may seem unnatural at first to look directly into the camera as you speak, but it is the best way to connect with your audience. Even if it may be tempting to look at the other participants as you're talking, doing so will only make you look unfocused. Use the time that you're not speaking to look at others. But when the virtual floor is yours, treat it as such.
6. Rehearse: Speaking into a webcam doesn't come naturally for most. The best way to guarantee your videoconferencing presence is up to par is to practice the steps above until you feel comfortable.
Look into the enterprise cloud today for efficient videoconferencing and many other advantages.