While video conferences are common occurrences in most corporate work environments, not all employees are excited to take part in them.
According to a recent study by the West Unified Communications, about 23 percent of employees feel that video conferencing is an uncomfortable experience, while three-quarters of employees prefer audio to video.
However, there is a myriad of benefits to video conferencing, from saving time and money on travel to being able to easily communicate with remote colleagues and partners. Rather than retreat to a more traditional method, check out these tips for facing your video conferencing fears today!
Look Great on Camera!
Many employees fear video conferencing because they are self-conscious about how they look on camera, according to CIO. To face this fear head on, you need to be proactive about changing how you feel on camera.
That means wearing clothing that both makes you feel comfortable and brings out your best features. Don’t wear stripes or busy patterns, because this usually doesn’t translate well to video. Instead, focus on solid neutral colors that help you look and feel your best.
If you happen to work from home and are unsure of what style of dress to wear to conference meetings, always opt for dressy over casual. Many remote employees worry that their fellow office colleagues will think they aren’t working if they wear a sweatshirt to a video conference. If you fall into this boat, opt to wear a business dress or business casual to the meeting and leave the sweats for off camera.
Others still worry about video conferences, because unlike telephone calls, everyone on the call can see what they are doing, whether they are multitasking or checking emails during the meeting. The simple solution to this problem is focusing all of your attention on the meeting at hand.
According to the West Unified Communications survey, 92 percent of baby boomers, 78 percent of Gen Xers and 68 percent of Millennials are more attentive on video conference calls. To make sure that you’re as attentive as possible on your next call, make sure to eliminate all possible distractions beforehand. Before joining a group video meeting like BlueJeans Huddle video, silence your phone, log out of all messaging apps and turn off email alerts to create a distraction-free meeting!
Create a Tidy Environment
Many employees, about 76 percent according to the West study, are afraid that a noisy or cluttered background environment could be distracting during a call. The best way to resolve this issue, especially if you’re working from home, is to make sure that the location you choose for your video conference that is quiet, tidy and well-lit.
Make sure to put away any dirty dishes, choral any noisy pets and close the blinds if it’s overly sunny. You’ll be much more relaxed if you’re taking the video conference call from a clean and quiet location. Face your fears and prepare your home for your next video conference call now!
Practice Your Public Speaking
The West study says that one-third of men and 42 percent of women are afraid and uneasy about public speaking during video conferences. Practice your public speaking ahead of time to ensure that you are more comfortable during the call.
If your company offers video etiquette training, take advantage of that opportunity and familiarize yourself with tips and tricks for delivering your best and most professional self during your next video conference. Until you get more comfortable with speaking in front of a camera, it might be best to dial in over the phone instead of video conferencing in.
Test The Software and Hardware Beforehand
If you are concerned about running into technical issues during your video conference, it might be best to perform a dry run beforehand to check lighting, camera angles, and audio quality and ensure that everything is squared away. Test both the software and hardware to familiarize yourself with the technology and make sure that everything is working properly.
Learn to Control Your Nonverbal Cues
In addition to the fear of looking less than great on camera, many video conference users are afraid of others seeing any unintentional nonverbal cues on camera that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to sense on a telephone call. If you fear this sense of vulnerability, practice controlling your nonverbal cues and body language before jumping on the call. For example, if you unintentionally smile when someone makes a grammatical or pronunciation error during a video conference, practice controlling your body language beforehand. Keep in mind, however, that sometimes these nonverbal cues can be helpful to your colleagues, so use your best judgment when deciding which cues to stifle. So there you have it! Now that you know how to overcome each of your video conferencing fears, you have the tools you need to tackle your next group video meeting.