Share this article
Welcome to Bite Size – our bi-monthly blog where we explore a topic in bite size form – short, sharp and easy to digest
It’s 2021, it’s January and we’re in another national lockdown here in the UK.
Whilst it is not a huge surprise, any plans businesses might have had to open their offices after the festive break are now back on the shelf.
Instead, whatever your video call of choice might be…Zoom, Skype, Teams, you will undoubtedly be scheduling those with your teams, rather than face to face meetings for the next few weeks and months.
So, if you are starting 2021 with resolutions to re-embrace the video call, here are six tips to help ease you back into virtual calls.
1. Be human
Firstly, remember to start your call with emotion-led and personal questions. It is important to retain human connections within teams and jumping straight into business de-humanises your connection with your team.
2. Allow time for breaks
Zoomitus is a real thing. Spending hours on video calls does nothing for productivity and motivation so make sure you build in regular breaks within calls (if they are longer than an hour) or in between calls.
3. Set the scene for your video call
Consider how you come across on camera. It isn’t vain to make sure you have good lighting as your team needs to be able to see you clearly. Pay attention to your background and make sure it is appropriate. We appreciate not everyone has a study to work in but keep an area in your house ready for professional video calls. And make sure your team all have access to good cameras. It might be an outlay and make a dent in the tech budget but it’s worth it to get the most out of video calls (as they’re here to stay).
4. Pay attention to your audience
Keep an eye on your audience. Their changing facial reactions will indicate how receptive they are to what is being discussed. It is easy to see this in face-to-face meetings but you need to pay special attention during video calls. By picking up on their reactions you can determine how information is being received and tackle any objections before they have time to fester. Also, be aware that your audience can often mimic your emotions, so be aware of how you are coming across.
5. Organise your time and plan out your video call
As we mentioned before, video calls are more exhausting than face-to-face meetings so be prepared and don’t waste time in meetings. Your team might be juggling other commitments such as home schooling, so screen time needs to be an effective use of time otherwise you risk alienating your team.
6. Run a ‘tech check’ prior to your video call
Even now not everyone is tech-savvy. You might also have new members on your team. Or you might have decided to introduce some different technology. Offer a ‘tech check’ to anyone who is unsure how to use the technology. Often people are embarrassed to admit they don’t quite know how to use certain functions. Take away the stigma and offer ‘refresher’ help to anyone who needs it.
As we said earlier these six tips should help ease you and your team back into the virtual world of video calls but there are many others. Do you have your own tips and tricks on how video calls work for you? Or are there any ‘pet peeves’ you’d like to share (confidentially, of course).
We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at CLP.