Crazy, but we are one year into the coronavirus pandemic. For most people, the start of the pandemic also meant the start of home-office and virtual meetings. For months virtual screening equipment was hard to come by and digital camera manufacturers hurried to release software so that we can use our digital cameras as webcams. Hence, vacation pictures were far out of sight. In the same fashion, we at Nytro worked hard to develop our Virtual Events Platform. So, by now stepping into the world of virtual meetings is nothing really special anymore. But isn’t that exactly the right time to reflect before we get too comfortable? Not every virtual meeting is a casual team meeting and the time where faux paus were met with a smile are over. Things are getting more and more professional. That is why we want to share our tips and tricks for a successful virtual meeting/recording with you:
Feel comfortable in your space. Organize and clean up your space to avoid distractions and keep something to drink handy. Ideally you should have a clean light-colored background, or you might use a virtual background with your company logo. But make sure you are not wearing a shirt with the same color as the background, otherwise your head will float in space. We cannot predict noises from family members or neighbors but try to have as less background noise as possible. Maybe let possible noisemakers know that you have an important meeting or make sure your room is as soundproof as possible. Don’t forget to turn off or silence your smart speakers in your room. Importantly, test and set up your lighting. Good lighting not only helps to convey the message but also improves image quality. Furthermore, it increases your confidence. Look at you in this beauty light!
2. Internet connection
You know your internet connection by now. However, sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry: use an ethernet cable for an important meeting. If that is not possible try to dedicate your internet connection to the device used. That means disconnect any other devices unless they are needed for the conference or meeting.
3. Computer setup:
Just double-check your computer is up to date with all recommended system updates. Test your videoconference app at least 1 day before the event to have enough time to figure things out or seek help. Make sure to connect well in advance to run an app check before the call (1 or 2 hours before the event is recommended). That gives you also some time to do a final check on your camera and microphone. Your camera should be set at eye level. We recommend using sound cancelling headphones to avoid distracting noises and to improve the quality of sound recordings. Then it is time to close all secondary apps that will not be used during the conference. Mute all push notifications like Outlook, WhatsApp, Skype, etc. During the call try to maintain eye contact with your camera. If you would like to see yourself during the call, position your mini-image below the camera to avoid always looking to the side.
Practice makes perfect. It is recommended to schedule a dry run before the event using the virtual event tool/platform and practice everything you are planning to do during the call – e.g., share screen, show a video, showcase a presentation, have a poll. Maybe invite someone so that you can receive feedback on the system, sound and video quality.
If you are going to pre-record the session, make sure to start the recording and leave a few seconds before starting to talk - that will give the video editing team the opportunity to add an intro if needed. The same applies for the end - after you finish talking. Don’t stop the recording immediately after, leave a few seconds to allow space for editing. Don’t move around during your presentation. Try to stay as still as possible, especially if you are using a virtual background – otherwise you risk distracting the audience. Make as many test recordings as needed. You must feel comfortable with the final product. A video editing team can only do its magic, when working with a good quality video.
Try to keep your presentation short and simple. The audience’s attention span usually doesn’t last more than 20 min. Use attention grabbers to keep people engaged: use polls, invite the audience to ask you questions, be engaging and open.
The stage is yours. Be your best. Have a fun and successful virtual meeting.
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