Video conferencing has kept us going during the pandemic, but it also played a vital role in business communication long before COVID-19 wrapped an iron grip around our nation. Video conferencing is a great way to communicate long-distance with the added bonus of being able to see the other person’s face and body language. Of course, video conference calls aren’t as good as managers finding a meeting space for small businesses to gather and meet in real life, but until it is safer for employees to meet, video calls are still better than no meeting at all.
Did you know that a large percentage of communication is nonverbal? This means that a simple audio call can often be misleading in terms of emotions or expectations, and texting is even worse. The tone is lost, body language is missing, and miscommunications can occur more frequently. When you can talk to a person and see their body language, it improves your trust and makes that communication a little easier.
Let’s take a look at how you can use video conferencing for better meetings.
Body Language & Communication
Over 70% of all communication is nonverbal, and some experts believe it’s closer to about 93% of communication. That means there’s so much more that goes into communicating ideas than just verbalizing them. You have to hear and see the message to truly understand it. All of us use body language when we speak, even if we don’t realize it.
Do you use your hands to reinforce a point? Do you pace when you talk? These are body language cues that you can’t pick up on when you’re using a landline or mobile phone. Video chatting is much more personal, and better for overall communication.
If you don’t know how to join a video conference and communicate well, it’s time to get some practice in. Here are some tips on better body language:
- Fix your posture!
- Pick your head up and look into the camera
- Use your hands to reinforce a point
- Avoid touching your face
- Relax your nerves
Other people pick up on body language cues more than you might think. Touching your face can make you seem dishonest, a bad posture can make you seem uninterested, and a nervous hand movement can show your nerves. Master your posture first!
COVID-19 And Social Distancing
Luckily for us, these conferencing services were already in place when COVID-19 struck earlier in 2020. Without them, there’s a good chance that even more businesses would have been forced to shut down, and we’d all have gone a bit crazy with no communication with our loved ones.
Businesses everywhere have been forced to adopt a work-from-home business model, and some have found success. With the addition of video conferencing tools (go right here for an example), it’s like business never stopped. With these tools, you can host productive meetings and webinars while still respecting social distancing rules. With HD-quality video, it’s like the attendees are sitting in the same room.
There’s a good chance that COVID has changed the way we host meetings forever. We’ll probably see a lot more digital meetings in the future, and that’s good news for video conference providers.
Using An Agenda
An agenda is perhaps the most crucial part of any meeting-be it a video meeting or a simple phone call. Without an agenda, you don’t have a map to get you from the beginning to the end of the meeting while staying on track with your goals.
Agendas don’t have to be anything special, but you should at least write down who’s attending, when the meeting will take place, the call-in number or meeting link, and a brief synopsis of the meeting’s purpose/goals you want to achieve.
One of the best features of online video calling services is that they’re far more accessible than a traditional landline or phone plan. Where a phone depends on the phone service provider to function, online services use the web. That means you’re not worrying about long-distance fees, and you can connect with just about anyone anywhere in the world.
You can host a meeting any time of day, too. Those late-night meetings aren’t a problem anymore, and you’ll likely spend about a third on web-based conferencing services than you would on a phone plan. By the time you add up multiple caller fees, long-distance fees, and the equipment you need for a landline, you could have purchased a 6-month premium plan with Vast.
Remember Call Etiquette
While it’s crucial to use the right tools to host better calls, your tools are only as good as the people using them. If your callers aren’t following the rules of call etiquette, you’ll find your meetings become derailed easily and you don’t reach your goals. That’s hardly conducive to overall productivity.
Call etiquette means being respectful of the other people in the call, not interrupting other speakers, and using the mute button. Yes, the mute button should be your best friend. Keep yourself muted until it’s your turn to talk. Background noise can easily derail a meeting! Remember you’re on camera, too. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in the office in front of everyone else.
Better meetings mean more productivity. By using the right tools, always using an agenda for your calls, and encouraging your callers to practice etiquette, your video meetings will transform into productivity powerhouses.