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Making video conferences click: Six ways to boost meeting productivity

Shaun Wormald, Senior Director of Unified Communications, InterCall Asia Pacific | June 11, 2015
While it's tempting to join video meetings in a way that's convenient for you, doing so affects not only your ability to contribute to the discussion, but also those of the other attendees.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Shaun Wormald of Intercall

The benefits of using video conferencing solutionsfrom an organisational perspective is very clear - it helps businesses achieve their targets while being cost efficient. While these bottom lines and costs may not directly concern you as an end user, video conferences can actually work to your advantage and help you accomplish tasks - if you know how to do them right.

To help you realise how prevalent video conferences are in a business setting, a recent Research and Markets study reports that the global video conferencing market is expected to reach US$ 6.40 billion by 2020. Asia Pacific also sees a similar trend. A Redshift Research survey shows that countries in the region are among the world's top video conference users, with 66 percent of respondents saying that they engage in video calls at least once a week, compared to EMEA at 53 percent and the United States at 49 percent.

While video meetings are now common in the workplace, the study by Redshift Research indicates that employees are not doing video conferencing the way it should be done. Respondents said that the most distracting things that should be avoided during video calls arenot putting mobile phones on silent (58 percent), attending from in appropriate places like public transit (52 percent), and doing unrelated tasks (51 percent).

While it's tempting to join video meetings in a way that's convenient for you, doing so affects not only your ability to contribute to the discussion, but also those of the other attendees. This wastes what could have been a great opportunity to collaborate. To make sure your next video conferences will be productive, here are some tips: 

1.       Be prepared.

Like other meetings, preparation is key to a successful video conference. If you're the one leading it, make sure everyone has the agenda and any other information beforehand, including the link to the video meeting.

Make your location conducive for a video conference and eliminate possible distractions, such as too much light coming in from a window or noise from the other conference room. If you're joining from home, give the impression that you're actually working - turn off the TV and get a spot that will give you some privacy. Don't forget to tidy up that part of your home to make it presentable.

2.       Be early and test the application.

This is important especially if you're using an application you've never used before. Get to know the platform and its features at least 15 minutes prior to the video conference. If you're presenting, check out the buttons you need to use.

 

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