We all know that face-to-face meetings are the most natural and effective way to communicate. However, when working for multinational companies with employees who are scattered around the world, video calls are the best option.
Reducing the distance with virtual meetings
We have different ways of communicating and through new technologies it is possible to reduce the distance in conducting job interviews or business meetings. Skype is a great virtual meeting tool. It is advisable to have an email address which clearly proves your identification and a Skype user account.
Here are some quick and easy tips to prepare a video call to make you feel comfortable, confident and come across as a professional.
15 Tips for Making a Video Conference Over Skype
1. Distance virtual meeting is a subject to the same rules of behaviour as face to face meetings and has to adapt to the level of formality and the type of relationship between both persons.
2. In virtual interactions body language is very important so maintain eye contact and greet with a smile, from the beginning till the end.
3. Your image tells a lot. Unless it is an emergency do not accept a video call if you think you’re not ready for it. Most of the time all you will see is your partner’s face. This is the reason why you must take care of your appearance and make it consistent with the image you want to convey.
4. Like your personal image your environment speaks volumes about you. Choose either the place from which you connect, since the perceived environment affects relationships and transmits an image of yourself or your company. When it comes to professional interactions, your environment should reflect a clean, tidy and bright space. Avoid having piles of papers, dirty glasses or cups, water bottles, open cupboards or food on your desk.
5. Do not eat or drink during your virtual meeting since you cannot offer anything to your partner as you could in your office.
6. Make sure that the camera angle is right so that the image is correct. Avoid being backlighted or profiled. Your partner should see your chest up, without cutting your head off the front.
7. Avoid facial expressions that might be misinterpreted or impolite.
8. Use little gesture with your hands. Think about your movements. Those must fit into the space of your screen. Any wide gestures can be annoying and make the conversation more difficult.
9. If your meeting is confidential choose a place with enough privacy and make sure no one enters the room where your virtual meeting is held.
10. Avoid sounding alarms, audible warning calls or messages during your virtual meeting. It can be distracting and cause stress.
11. Speak clearly, slowly and with the correct volume. Mind that the internet connections are not always perfect, so take precautions to ensure that you both understand the full conversation.
12. Do not talk to other people and do not make noise while your partner is speaking. Put all your attention into the conversation. This is also applicable for virtual meetings with several participants.
13. Always connect a few minutes before the actual meeting. This will allow you to see that everything works properly. Be punctual.
14. Unless otherwise agreed, the polite thing is that both partners have the video on and are communicating under the same conditions.
15. If communication is cut and cannot be restored, it would be nice to end the conversation by some other means (SMS, Whatsapp, email or phone).
Undoubtedly, the ability to improvise is a skill. You can ensure the success of your communication skills, if you handle the tools well and plan your verbal and non-verbal messages.