For those that aren’t Star Wars nerds – if you Google ‘how to become a Jedi,’ it says it takes at least two decades to reach Jedi Master status!! That is if you’re aren’t fast-tracked and trained from birth like Luke Skywalker. Whew! That’s a lot of time attaining the mastery of something spectral like the Force.
Luckily, becoming a virtual meeting Jedi Master is achievable much more quickly. And, in today’s remote-working world, virtual meeting skills are invaluable, not to mention put to the test daily. Your co-workers, customers, and partners will likely take notice and be inspired if you can pull off seamless virtual meetings as a host and attendee. What do you need to know? Let’s dive in!
Control your image (background, positioning, audio, and lighting) – As the old saying goes, lights, camera, action! It may seem like overkill, but it’s a friendly reminder that each virtual meeting should be professional. While it doesn’t always have to be a formal affair depending on who you’re meeting with, it should be treated a few steps above FaceTiming with your niece or a Zoom happy hour. Luckily, big-time cloud communication tools make it easy to control your virtual meeting background to set the stage. Along those lines, here you can find easy-to-follow instructions for changing your background using MS Teams, Zoom, and WebEx. Taking these steps will help create a consistent call experience, and it can also serve as an extension of your company’s brand. Especially for those talking with customers or partners on a routine basis; a professional background shows customers that they’ll receive the same high-quality experience every time they interact with your company.
Also, make sure to position yourself properly within the camera view, which means don’t get too close! If your head is all you see during your call, you’re probably too close. A safe distance is usually two to three feet away from your screen, where you can see your face, background, and still have clear audio using your favorite headset. Finally, check your lighting. If your office lighting is subpar, your image will look too dark and be a distraction. Since internet speeds and bandwidth impact video quality, make sure your connection is adequate whenever possible.
Center around security – Your company’s IT framework – network, cloud application environment, and IT infrastructure – should be centered around security. Secure remote desktop solutions, firewalls, and VPNs can help maintain the security of your remote workforce. IT administrators can help make meetings more secure by enabling meeting host controls, such as using separate host passcodes, randomizing meeting IDs, and requiring that participants register for the meeting service before joining the call, according to Gartner.
Use scheduling tools – Because most of us are working remotely, everyone’s juggling even more virtual meetings than pre-COVID times. Make it easier on yourself by using built-in calendar scheduling tools. Zoom for Outlook add-in helps users manage scheduling within the Outlook web and desktop apps. They also offer a Zoom for GSuite add-on to help you schedule, join, and manage appointments right from Gmail or Google Calendar. Similarly, Microsoft Teams has an add-in for Outlook integration to schedule a Team Meeting directly from Outlook. Webex also offers integration to Microsoft Outlook and Google’s G-suite.
Consider transcribing meetings – Recording meetings can be useful to capture video, audio, and screen sharing activities happening during a virtual call. While many people are familiar with ‘record meeting’ features available in conferencing programs, the option to ‘transcribe meetings’ is relatively new. With the right configuration and subscription, MS Teams, for example, can automatically record and transcribe audio calls and webinars. Users can then play back recordings and search for essential discussion items in a transcript. Starting soon, for customers with MS Teams plus Voice integration, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint will save transcriptions.
Another example is the Zoom platform, making it easy to transcribe meetings using its Audio transcript option under Cloud Recordings. Another transcription solution is an ad-on product called Gong. Once installed, Gong automatically records, transcribes, analyzes, and organizes audio and video calls (meetings, calls, and emails) and makes it simple to search keywords. It integrates with big-name UC and CRM platforms such as Cisco Webex, Amazon Connect, 8×8 cloud-based communications tools, and much more. These advanced transcription services can be a gamechanger for individuals on a half-dozen or more calls a day, for instance.
It’s hard to argue with the OG Jedi Master Yoda. However, while the most excellent teacher may be a failure, hopefully, these tips will spare you from experiencing some of the most epic virtual meetings fails of all time – it’s just hard to look away! Do you have any epic fails or tips to share? Or, do you want to learn more about cloud-based communication tools and options? Call or email us! At Light Networks, we love helping customers set up the right network and technology infrastructure to maintain consistent, high-quality connections with co-workers and customers – let’s do this together!
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