Communication via video conferencing has become more and more common in the business world and allows us to communicate with colleagues and customers from all over the world and across time zones. But while many executives and business leaders enjoy the convenience of this wonderful technology, many of them may unknowingly sabotage their image and perceived professionalism by unknowingly committing these three major pitfalls when it comes to video conferencing.
Here are the top 3 pitfalls made by video conferencing users and the solutions to avoid these pitfalls.
Pitfall #1: Not knowing when to mute the mic
One of the most common pitfalls of video conferencing users is not knowing when to mute the microphone. Often the microphone is not muted even when the user is not speaking. If you don’t mute the microphone, background noise can affect the quality of the conversation and disrupt the flow of the meeting.
Solution: Mute the microphone when not speaking. It’s even better if you can test mute the microphone and turn it back on before the video conference starts to check if the microphone is working.
Pitfall #2: You don’t have a decent room to hold your video conference in
Image and professionalism are crucial to how others perceive you. Unfortunately, while many video conferencing users remember to dress well for the video conference, it is their environment – what lurks behind the scenes – that sabotages their perceived professionalism. Inappropriate art and wall decorations, messy desks from the camera’s perspective, messy rooms with scraps of paper lying around, or a background that looks like a college dorm.
Solution: Choose a neat and tidy room for your video conference. Make sure your background is neat and organized with appropriate decoration (e.g. artwork, appropriate books neatly stacked on bookshelves). Remember not to choose a spot where your back is to a sidewalk or corridor; it will be annoying for your interlocutor when they have to endure the distractions caused by people running around incessantly in your background.
Pitfall #3: Don’t face the camera while speaking
This sounds obvious, but unfortunately it is a very common mistake made by video conferencing users. There is often a strong tendency to look at the screen when speaking. However, this causes the other person on the other side of the screen (the one you’re conducting the video conference with) to feel disinterested due to the lack of eye contact.
Solution: Always remember to face the camera while speaking. This leads to better engagement as you get better eye contact with your counterparty. Additionally, with better eye contact, you will be perceived as more confident, trustworthy, and believable.
These 3 major pitfalls are often committed by people who conduct video conferences. The good news is that you can avoid these pitfalls right away in your next video conferencing session. Avoid these 3 pitfalls and watch your performance grow!