Charlotte Area Chamber of Commerce: How to Make Your Video Calls and Meetings More Engaging

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10/28/2021

Are you tired of video calling? There was something new and fun about them when we were all locked up for COVID, but now they’ve lost a lot of their shine.

For some of us who work from home, video calls can seem like an unnecessary intrusion where we have to worry about how we look, what we wear, what our home office looks like, and interference with people. children and pets. with the ability to enter the screen view at any time. It adds more work and more stress to something that used to be a functional communication tool.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can bring back the novelty and the pleasure of seeing a face and evaluating a reaction. You just need to think about how you are doing it.

Humanize your video calls

It might seem odd to talk about humanizing something that was supposed to make phone calls more personal in the first place. But the reality of what happened was the overwhelming quality of running into someone with only a few minutes of warning because you were “in the neighborhood”.

If you want to reverse the feeling of intrusion, you need to do something that couldn’t be accomplished with a simple phone call.

Warn and be clear

If you are setting up a video call, do so with advance warning and make sure everyone invited knows that it is a video call. Nowadays, many companies use video calling software like Zoom, even when the cameras are turned off. It is therefore difficult to say what is expected from a simple invitation.

You want your attendees to know you want to see them or if you just use the Zoom Calling number for convenience, no screen required.

The warning allows people (and their surroundings) to be at their best and gives them advance notice to plan for small distractions like barking dogs or cats wanting to sit on keyboards.

Don’t use video calls for an unexpected quick compliment, scolding, or duty. If you do, you introduce unnecessary stress on the other end.

Also, before scheduling a video call or meeting, consider whether it is necessary to see each other. If so, go ahead. If you’re just giving an update and a face isn’t needed, forgo the video call.

Use technology

If you have multiple people joining you, the chat feature can be extremely important in keeping the conversation going without creating interruptions. Conscientious multitasking can host the call and monitor the questions that come up. But if you want to focus on delivering the content, put someone in charge of responding and monitoring as you go. This way everyone can stay engaged while you speak.

If possible, take the time to ask questions. If you can’t access it, create an FAQ to deliver (or post) later to participants based on what appears in the chat. This allows everyone to express themselves and to feel heard. It is also an incredible development and refinement tool if you are giving the same presentation to multiple groups. By saving the chat and reviewing it later, you can see exactly which points need further clarification and prepare your next presentation accordingly.

There are some fun filtering features where you can change the background or face (remember the CEO stuck in potato head mode?). Consider allowing your team to use them occasionally for a little comedic relief, if necessary.

Lead with humanity

If you are the host or organizer, be human. Relax a bit on a video call. Be less formal. Host the call from a room that does not look like a conference room. Let your audience see more of your personality through what objects are behind you. Log in early to chat with those who log in before the scheduled date.

If you find yourself in a formal setting with no background noise and a stern gaze on your face jumping straight into whatever you are discussing, these types of video calls will become something your employees dread. Nobody wants that.

These are just a few suggestions for making video calling more tolerable. Remember, just because you can doesn’t always mean you should. Some topics require front views and others can be faster and more manageable with just a voice.


This press release was produced by the Charlotte Area Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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