Communication via video conferencing has become increasingly prevalent in the business world, allowing us to communicate with fellow colleagues and clients from across the globe and across time zones. But while many executives and business leaders are enjoying the convenience brought about by this wonderful technology, many of them might be unconsciously sabotaging their image and perceived professionalism by unwittingly committing these 3 major pitfalls when it comes to video conferencing.
Here are the 3 major pitfalls committed by users of video conferencing, and the solutions to counter these pitfalls.
Pitfall #1: Not knowing when to mute the microphone
One of the most common pitfalls made by users of video conferencing is to not know when to mute the microphone. Often, the microphone is kept un-muted, even when the user is not speaking. By not muting the microphone, background noises can interfere with the quality of the conversation and distract the flow of the meeting.
Solution: Mute the microphone when not speaking. All the better if you can mute and un-mute the microphone before the commencement of the video conference as a test to examine if the microphone works.
Pitfall #2: Not having a neat room in which to hold your video conference
Image and professionalism is vital to how others will perceive you. Unfortunately, while many users of video conferencing have remembered to dress well for the video conference, it is their surroundings – what lies in the background – that sabotage their perceived professionalism. Inappropriate art and wall decorations, untidy desks when seen from the camera, untidy rooms with pieces of paper lying around, or a background that looks like a college dormitory.
Solution: Choose a neat and tidy room in which to host your video conference. Ensure that your background is neat and organized, with appropriate decorations (e.g. art pieces, appropriate books stacked neatly in bookshelves). Remember not to choose a spot where your back is facing a walkway or corridor; it will be annoying to your counter-party if they have to endure the distractions caused by people walking incessantly in your background.
Pitfall #3: Not looking at the camera when talking
This sounds obvious, but unfortunately, it is a very common mistake committed by users of video conferencing. Often, there is a strong tendency to look at the screen while talking. But doing so will lead the other person at the other side of the screen (with whom you are have the video conference with) to feel disengaged due to a lack of eye-contact.
Solution: Always remember to look at the camera while speaking. This will give rise to better engagement due to having better eye contact with your counter-party. Furthermore, with better eye contact, you will be perceived as more confident, more trustworthy, and more credible.
These 3 major pitfalls are often committed by individuals of video conferencing. The good news is that you can avoid these pitfalls immediately, as early as during your next video conferencing session. Avoid these 3 pitfalls and watch your performance grow!