Video Conference Tactics

The Zoom boom experienced during the pandemic has altered how people work too. My go-to Vault website offers detailed tips and tactics.           

The top takeaway: using lighting and location to your advantage. You’ll want to access your computer in a room free of distractions like loud noises, running children, and cluttered background.

Dressing in formal business attire from head to heel will set the tone for how you interact with your potential boss or actual supervisor and coworkers. No pajamas from the waist down please.

Look into the camera not down. You want your face to be visible. It should appear that you’re making eye contact with the other person.

Resist uploading a photo as a background. Ideally, the view of the room behind you will be of a white wall with minimal bright or other objects in the room.

Experiment beforehand to adjust the lighting and background. Verify that your computer video and audio and webcam are working properly. You want others to see your face as well as hear you speak.

Again, smiling appropriately will go a long way as well as speaking in a clear slow voice. Rushing through your presentation will be obvious. People will comment among themselves afterward that you were talking too fast. They might not tell you this.

Brushing up on your public speaking skills can help you do well with video conference platforms online. One thing no one else has talked about is what happens when the session has ended, and people click Leave. Some of you might stay on the video and chat informally among yourselves.

Keep this “off-the-record” conversation professional. You can use this chat to talk about common interests you share with your coworkers outside of the job. Refrain from divulging sensitive information here that others shouldn’t be privy to. Maybe you want to talk about a new recipe you’re going to cook for dinner.

I’ve stayed online with two coworkers after a Microsoft Teams meeting. This is the modern day equivalent of gathering at the water cooler in the office. Some companies offer Zoom online “Happy Hours.”

One last tip: You don’t have to click on your webcam’s icon on your computer desktop beforehand to turn on the webcam to join an online meeting. Simply click “Join” on the link you’re given to the MS Teams or Zoom or other conference. Your face should then appear in the video.

Author: Christina Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the new book Working Assets: A Career Guide for Peers. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health.

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