These days, we’re spending less time face-to-face with others. Whether we’re on a Zoom conference for work or FaceTime with family, it seems that video chat is more prevalent than ever. Which also means that we’re all running into problems with the technology left and right. We pulled together a list of mistakes to avoid with video chats to get you sailing through them smoothly.
Pre-Download Your Chat App
Many of the video chat platforms out there require you to have an app or a plugin downloaded in order to use it. You don’t want to be stuck waiting on that to finish during the first few minutes of a meeting.
Grab Some Headphones
On some video chat platforms, the audio can have echos if you’re not on headphones. Have some nearby when you start in case you need them.
Get Some Room Lighting
It can look kind of, well, creepy to be the one person in the shadows in a group video chat. Just make sure you’re in a spot where you can control the lights a bit.
Figure Out the Mute Button
Most programs have them, and they’re a lifesaver. Mute yourself any time there’s noise on your end that you don’t want the other person or people to have to listen to.
Raise Your Hand
Some video conference platforms have an option to raise your hand before you start talking. Once you get more than a handful of people on the same chat, this can be invaluable. However, you’ll need to use it carefully. Other adults may not take well to being treated like they’re in third grade.
Dress for the Occasion
It’s time to just assume that you’re going to end up on video for calls. Don’t be that poor, poor person who thought the Skype interview was audio-only.
Know the Limits
Each video chat platform has different limitations, often in the number of people allowed in the chat or how long the conference can go for. Make sure you know those before setting up a virtual family reunion with all the aunts and uncles.
Try to avoid walking around while you’re on a video chat, it can make the other people on the call a little motion sick.
Gather What You Need First
In that vein, make sure you have what you’ll need on hand in advance of the call. You don’t want to have to get up and walk away halfway through.
Take It Seriously
We’re going to be using these video chats more and more right now. It’s a good idea to get used to treating them like in-person communications as much as you’re able to.