ON-AIR / WHAT TO REMEMBER WHEN HOSTING OR PARTICIPATINGIN AN ONLINE MEETING OR WEBINAR
Whenever you have an online video conference or a training webinar, private or professional, we have never been more remotely connected than now. Especially when your online session is work related there are a few points to remember and consider when hosting or even participating in a video conference.
Although video conferences have been around for a while, we are now more than ever, spending many hours connected with or without video to virtual meetings. Below are a few tips to remember when hosting or even just participating in a videoconference.
Without technology, none of this remote work environment would even be possible. Even if your laptop is not the newest or you only have those old headphones, you have been using for the last decade, it is important to have some basic tech equipment. A working microphone and webcam are really the basics. If you have some pennies left and especially if you are looking to host video conferences regularly, I highly recommend investing in a webcam and a wireless microphone. No one wants to see pixeled delayed video or listen to constantly breaking up audio.
Before the start of a virtual video call I cannot stress enough on testing your equipment first or at least try to join early enough so you can sort those settings up before the start. Many people have more than just one online call that day and might not want to waste their time waiting on someone to get their video camera working.
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH APPS
Sometimes we do not seem to have full control over video and audio setting or somehow, they suddenly from one day to another stop working. To reduce or even avoid this problem, I always download the respective application.
Often you will be able to join directly via web browser but in the past, I have experienced that in this case, you might get limited control or reduced functions availability.
Having the software will ease the whole joining and connection process and if you are operating as a Host you should always use the client software available. Additionally, it makes scheduling and inviting easier and much quicker.
SET THE STAGE
Some platforms also have plugins which you can integrate in your mailing tool making invitations and scheduling even easier.
Not everyone has a fancy penthouse or designer office to show off in the background, but still it is important to keep an eye on your surrounding when sharing video. This is independent from the fact that you are working from an office or from home, remember we can all see what is happening in the background.
Rule number one is having a good light source coming ideally natural day light if possible, from the front or alternatively from the side. Try to avoid a light source coming from the back.
Regarding the background, you might want to re-consider the painting choice on the wall or all those merry Christmas cards you got from your colleagues 10 months ago. A neutral background, if possible, will already do the trick.
You can also use your background to deliberately show off specific items or pictures. For instance, during partner meeting you could place that one marketing posters right behind your or that one trophy you won as best employee of the company.
Some newer laptops have a virtual background option included were you can adapt the background we see to a pictures, brand or logo. It is always a good laughter if someone is suddenly located at a beautiful beach with palm trees or next to the Eiffel tower, this can be a good icebreaker at the beginning. But you can also set a blurry or standard office picture to place you in a busy working space although you are working from home and you want to hide your messy kitchen. Sometime the virtual background option has not a very high resolution due to your hardware, in this instance I recommend buying a green screen. They are not that expensive and can easily be folded up. Definitely ads some professionalism when hosting video conferences or webinars.
All in all, always check what other will be able to see when you share your video, so you are not taken off guard. Try to keep your background tidy. No one wants to see your pyjama bottoms or that undone bed in the back.
If I could, I would definitely have an On-Air Sign lightning up every time I am in a videoconference.
Especially when you work from home an