With employees working from home, there are more meetings conducted online and a lot more candidates being interviewed through a webcam. If you are in a virtual meeting with a candidate, a hiring manager, or a colleague, the visual environment will become a part of your personal brand. In case of distractions, or technical issues, your brand will feel chaotic and disrupted. But if you manage to run virtual meetings without any disruptions, your brand will feel professional and polished.
If you are someone who regularly hosts meetings on online platforms, there are some practical tips you need to follow to create a professional brand when you meet someone virtually. Here are a few tips to help you with the same.
- Work from a quiet room
When hosting a meeting, it is best to work in an empty room and it helps when it is carpeted. If the room is uncarpeted, it will lead to echoey audio and could distract many others. You need to use a carpeted room with soft furnishing to enjoy quality audio. Use a neutral background and ensure that nothing is distracting. You can also have bookcases, plants, or photo frames in the background.
- Have quality lighting
Always have quality lighting in the room. If you have a dim-lit room, it will feel unprofessional. You can have a desk with a soft and strong light that will illuminate your face when you are on the conference. Having two LED desk lamps with appropriate intensity and hue on the side of the webcam directed towards your face is ideal. You can then tweak the same according to the daylight conditions and enjoy uniform lighting on the face.
- Choose a laptop over the phone
There are many people who will do a conference call on the phone because it is convenient but it is highly unprofessional. You must always use a laptop to make the call, it will give a stable image and also allow you to take notes.
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- Ensure the right technical setup
Before you proceed with the call, you need to ensure that the technical setup is appropriate. You cannot completely avoid all the issues from occurring but it is possible to reduce the likelihood of the same by running a test call. There are many programs that allow you to restart in case of an issue but it helps to run a test check before you proceed.
- Look professional
A lot has been written and spoken about the ways you can dress for the video meeting. It is best to look professional and wear formals. But you can play around with it. Try to wear a formal shirt and pair it with your favorite jeans. There are several styles of jeans for women but you must always choose one that looks professional. You may have to get up during the call and this is when your jeans will be visible. Alternatively, you can wear a formal dress for the meeting. Pair it with the right accessories to complete the look.
- Have a quality microphone
In a lot of laptops, the built-in microphone is very good but if you are interviewing someone and recording the conversation, you need high-quality external microphones. They sound better and are convenient to use. If you do not want to buy an external desk mic, you can use the earphones on your phone to create a quality sound profile.
- Turn off all the notifications
In a lot of meetings, the pop-ups often work as distractions and look unprofessional. You need to turn off all the notifications from the app or close the applications running behind. You might think that you will just ignore them but they will take your attention. In case you are screen sharing, it will show on everyone’s screen and it can become embarrassing.
- Never multitask
It could be tempting to browse through your social media profile or respond to emails but do not do it. Anything that is unrelated to the meeting will prevent you from absorbing the content and it must be avoided. Being fully present in the meeting is very important and if it truly matters to you, focus on what is being discussed.
A virtual meeting should be approached just like an in-person meeting. It is a platform where you can showcase your skills. It might seem straightforward but if you do not prepare well, it can go wrong. Take them seriously and dress your part. It will help build a positive brand and make you look professional. Your clients or colleagues will notice the effort you are putting in for the meeting and they will appreciate the same. A little effort can go a long way.