When the pandemic started in 2020, many New Bern businesses required their employees to work from home.
Virtual meetings and Zoom meetings became the norm as workers realized they needed a way to communicate effectively with their co-workers and clients.
At first, hopping on a Zoom meeting while working from home seemed like a Wild West free-for-all. Baseball caps, pajamas, and barking dogs were all seen or heard on camera. Most people took it in stride, but as the months went by, it became clear that working from home was here to stay for the foreseeable future.
It’s now been a year since the pandemic started and working from home and conducting online virtual meetings is now the new norm. As such, it’s time to start thinking about putting on a more professional appearance while video conferencing with co-workers, clients, and customers.
Read on to learn more about five great tips that will allow you and your employees to conduct a more professional virtual meeting.
Dress Professionally for Virtual Meetings
When people working from home first started turning on their webcams to participate in virtual meetings, it seemed like a novelty that we all took in stride. Scraggly beards, people wearing a dress shirt while sitting in their boxers, and Metallica T-shirts were often seen on cam.
Now that everyone is used to participating in virtual meetings, it’s time to put your best professional foot forward. This means dressing appropriately in business clothing and a little bit of personal grooming can go a long way. The way you dress while on cam is a reflection of your company—and the brand.
If you work from home, you probably already have found a routine that works best for you. However, ask yourself if any distractions could interrupt a virtual meeting, such as:
- Barking dogs
- Inquisitive cats
- Lawnmower guys
- Family members in view
- Music blaring
The lighting and background behind where you sit while on camera are also important—can others see you clearly on camera? If not, move to an area of your house or apartment where some light from the window will shine down upon you.
You can also use “virtual backgrounds” on many conference calls to act as a green screen and eliminate distractions such as wall paintings or messy kitchens.
What’s Your Tech Stack?
Most remote workers nowadays have a preferred set of tools, software, and video conferencing programs to communicate and perform their jobs. This can lead to confusion both internally and externally as some software isn’t compatible with others.
For example, let’s say that you need to share your screen while on a phone call. What program do you use? AnyDesk? Zoom? Google Meet? If the person you’re speaking to does not use the same program, they’ll need to download, install, and configure it. That often leads to confusion and frustration on their part.
This is why it’s essential to create a standardized list of software tools that you or your employees use throughout the day. It will make life so much easier and prevent software conflicts.
Log into Virtual Meetings Early
By logging into a virtual call 10-15 minutes before it starts, it will provide you with ample time to get your AirPods, headsets, and other equipment tested and ready. One of the biggest frustrations of virtual meetings is having to sit there and wait while someone fiddles with their microphone while saying, “can you hear me now?” over and over again.
A few minutes before the start of a video conferencing call should be used to perform a tech check to see if everything is working correctly. If not, it will allow you the time to fix what’s wrong.
This is also a great time to strategize with your team members before the call. Share documents, checklists, and important information before others log in. People can easily see that you’re typing in Slack or text messages while on cam, and it doesn’t look very professional.
Have Your IT Team at the Ready
If your company has an IT department, they should be instantly available to help troubleshoot and solve any problems you or your employees face while on camera.
If you don’t have an IT department, many local IT companies offer affordable rates to be on call. This will allow you and your workers to quickly fix any problems that the tech gremlins may create.
Marketing Help in New Bern
Working from home and conducting virtual meetings are here to stay for the foreseeable future. By taking the time to consider the above five tips, you’ll present a more professional appearance to everyone who sees you on camera.
If you’d like to learn more about how event marketing can help drive new customers and business, give us a call. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of New Bern can produce and design your next project, you may email us, request a quote, or call us at (252) 633-3199.