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Video calls have become an integral part of corporate presence as the current state of our system relies heavily on the power of technology. Video calls have come to stay; and this is not just because of the inception of Coronavirus; but also because the corporate world is now so dynamic that the team members in some organizations could constitute top talents scattered in strategic places around the world. Hence a video call would be the best bet in connecting team members all around the world.
Dos and Don’ts in Business Video calls
This goes a long way in justifying the assertion that video calls are very important in this age. Nonetheless, there are certain codes that let you know what is acceptable or not while engaging in video conferencing and they are called video call etiquettes. Here are the important things to note while on a video call or before getting on one:
Test run your gadgets beforehand
This is the first and very important step to take before joining a video call. Make sure you are connected to reliable internet and the power source is very stable. For cases where you would need to set up in a workspace, make sure that your gadgets are set up properly and are in good working condition so that they would not fail you at the crucial point of online communication. Having faulty or improperly set gadgets could frustrate the purpose of the video calls.
Create an agenda
Who goes to a meeting without an agenda? For the hosts of the meeting, creating an agenda is important as it would give you an estimated time for the meeting. Not having an agenda for a meeting is like going to the grocery store without a list. The meeting could end up being an avenue to discuss random things while important issues are not given proper attention to or are even left undiscussed at all. Write out an agenda, and if possible let your team members know about it before the meeting so that they can prepare adequately for it.
Tardiness is very unethical in business communication as it sends a condescending impression to business partners, team members, or clients. Be at least 15 minutes early for a video call. This would help you get prepared before the start of the meeting. Lateness could be very distracting and could make catching up very difficult. Clear up your schedule for the video call and make adequate preparations at least thirty minutes before the video call
Maintain eye contact always with the rest of the communicators. Avoiding eye contact could come off as being timid or extremely shy. In addition, eye contact is important because it will help you evaluate and interpret the body language and mannerisms of other communicators. Evaluating their reactions and body language would help you know if they understand what you are saying or are uncomfortable with the direction of the meeting; hence using the power of eye contact effectively would give you insights into the flow of communication.
Be clear and concise
Avoid ambiguity during video call conversations. Sometimes, everyone on the call might not have the opportunity to speak up about lack of comprehension or complain about digesting too much information in a short space of time; hence this is why your message should project clarity. Avoid using too many complex words so that they do not get misconstrued. While you talk in clear and simple terms, remember to avoid overly long sentences. Also, assimilation might be harder for your listeners if you are not speaking clearly. Obey the ‘KISS‘ rule; Keep It Short and Simple. If you have to pass really ambiguous information, you could use the chatbox for better assimilation.
Mute when not communicating
To avoid distinctions that might be a result of environmental noise at your end, it will be very civil to put your microphone on mute when others are speaking. This would eliminate distraction and enable the speaker to communicate effectively.
Professionalism should reflect in your manner of interaction and in your mode of dressing. When addressing a business partner or client, use the right words and maintain a calm but confident tone while interacting. Avoid the use of informal or profane words. Also, dress appropriately irrespective of the medium of communication. The acceptable manner of dressing is Business Casual or formal dressing. Anything short of these could be considered as unacceptable.
Don’t interrupt other speakers during calls
It is normal to have objections or additions when we listen to people, but it is highly inappropriate to cut people short when they have the floor for professional conversations or any conversations at all. It is highly distracting and quite unethical to do such. If you have questions and observations during the speech, take a mental note of them and ask them during the plenary session or right after the speaker rounds off his conversation. Also, you can write them if you think you’d forget them before you get the chance to ask them.
Less distracting background or backdrop
This is for people who work from the comfort of their homes. As comfy and elegant as our personal spaces maybe, they sadly might not be a befitting space for a business video call. This might be as a result of noisy or distracting backgrounds or flashy belongings that we have in our possession. However, the onus lies on a communicator to create an acceptable workplace within the confines of the home. Create a suitable and less distracting work arena by putting a table and chair in a plain background either by the farthest corner of the room or somewhere around the room that is distant from the bedside. In this vein, you can execute a distraction-free video call with your partners.
Listen attentively during video call conversations and resist every urge to drift apart because it is an online conversation. Pay attention to details and note important highlights of the meeting for posterity.
The corporate world is changing and different technological concepts are being incorporated into the system. We should accept these interesting modifications with readiness and confidence because, in the long run, they make the professional world a better and less complicated place to live in.