5 Best Practices for Pre, During and Post Video Conferencing Meetings
With the increased use of video conferencing for professionals working from home and/or in the office, as well as students engaged in distance learning for school it can be easy to go on auto pilot when jumping on a call. Whether it be Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, BlueJeans or any of the dozens of other applications available it's important to put some best practices into place to ensure your meeting is successful, even before the meeting starts. Below are five, simple key best practices all meeting hosts and attendees should apply when joining a video call.
1. Pre-Meeting: Invite Check
Perhaps you've experienced the "I can't find the meeting passcode!" Or "Where's the meeting link?" 1 minute before the meeting starts. Save yourself the stress and possible embarrassment by confirming all the needed info to join the meeting way in advance of the meeting. If the invite was sent out a couple days prior, then check it the morning of the meeting. If it the meeting was scheduled the day of then confirm the meeting at least 15 – 30 minutes prior, if possible. According to Forbes, 62% of companies use three or more video calling platforms, which can cause confusion at times. Nothing like logging in to Zoom only to realize that the meeting is being held on Google Meet. Oh, and if you're the one hosting the meeting be sure to double check the meeting info before pressing send, and then again at least 15 – 30 minutes before the meeting.
2. Pre-Meeting: Set-up Prep
How's your background, lighting, USB mic, speaker and USB camera set-up? Is the content you are sharing pulled up and ready to go? If you meet from the same desk or meeting room everyday then chances are you have all this dialed in. But things happen, equipment gets unplugged. . . and video conferencing platforms like to do what's called "updates". Meaning, sometimes the defaults you have set for your meetings can be affected by the unplugging of a device and platform updates. So, it's good to double check everything's plugged in, the lighting is just right, and your settings (for your USB mic, speaker, camera, etc.) are all properly selected prior to joining the meeting.
3. During the Meeting: Host Responsibilities
If you are hosting a meeting:
- Act as a master of ceremonies, keeping the conversation active and moderating the meeting from beginning to end.
- Always open the meeting with a welcoming message and establish the agenda or structure, so expectations are clear from the beginning.
- Keep the conversation going throughout the meeting and through the chat box, so everyone stays involved and interested.
- If you're not taking notes of the meeting establish before and/or at the beginning of the meeting who will be recording meeting notes.
- Manage the clock and remind others when it’s time to move to the next agenda item.
4. During the Meeting: Mute When You’re Not Speaking
Not only do you want to avoid saying something out of place during the conference call, but sometimes open mics can cause feedback on your end or interference on your meeting participants end. This is especially true if you are in a space that is crowded or has a lot of background noise. The best thing to do is use a headset as it assures the pickup of sound is concentrated on you and not your surroundings. Also, if you are hosting ask everyone at the beginning of the meeting to mute when they are not speaking. Additionally, most platforms allow the host to mute/unmute participants during the meeting. Though this usually is only a best practice when there are a lot of people on the call or webinar.
5. Post Meeting: Checklist
- Be sure you are completely signed out of the meeting so that meeting attendees don't accidentally see or hear you once you leave. If you have a camera cover put it on, or slide it over. If your USB mic has indicator lights then most likely it will show red, for mute or off. (Shop our video conference cameras and mics for affordable, professionally graded equipment.) - insert link
- If you're the host and the meeting was being recorded be sure to capture and save the meeting video so that it can be distributed properly to the group post meeting.
- Just like any meeting, be sure to capture critical notes and action items while they are fresh. Create a system of where you keep video conference meeting notes, complete with the date and meeting name so you can come back to it when needed.
- If you met new people on the call be sure to capture their names and possibly contact information for future reference. More than likely, if you are not the host, you can grab their email address from the meeting invite if it shows all the attendees.
Applying these best practices and implementing a system that works for you will help ensure successful online meetings each time. Additionally, but implementing the right equipment that's intuitive and user friendly will help remove unnecessary variables that come into play for your video calls.