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The New Business Meeting: Video Conferences! Tips and Tricks

Video conferencing with colleagues

I’ve spoken here before about my love of video chatting (as well as which online free video chatting service is best), and in the last few months I’ve really become accustomed to not just using video chat to keep up with friends I’m using it for business.

I’ve used video chat for everything from appearing on the news, to meeting with clients, to making appearances on online shows. I’ve been on camera online so often I’ve actually set up a place in my office where the conditions are ideal for chatting online. But I’m only comfortable doing video chatting thanks to the smart advice of other women online. So I asked these smart women for suggestions that can help anyone become a video chatting pro.

The absolute #1 tip for video conferencing? It’s about LIGHT. “Make sure the lighting is in front of you and not behind you,” says Theresa of Rock On Mommies says. She’s right; if you’re backlight or poorly lit the video quality goes way down and the annoyance factor of the other person involved goes way up.

Secondly, watch out for clutter. Have a clear background if possible (I actually have a bookcase which looks nice), and choose your clothes carefully too. Vera Sweeney says, “Be careful about wearing small prints (polka dots, tweed etc). It doesn’t translate well on video. Also be cautious about chunky jewelry – specifically necklaces. If you are mic’d, it can cause interference & make unnecessary noise with movement.”

Next up, make sure you test first! Christina of Smart Savvy Social say, “Might go without saying, but I’m saying it anyway – do a dry run before hand! If your webcam is built into your lap top, play with the angles of the screen. Don’t be afraid to put your laptop on a stack of books, or something else to make it higher to get the most flattering angle.”

Professionalism is important, too. “Pick up any toys or out of place items. Make sure they are out of camera view,” says Theresa. Kadi Prescott of Our Seven Seeds goes further. “If you are trying to impress, don’t allow your kids to be running around. Otherwise, you will look like you don’t have your shit together and no company wants a woman who cannot switch to business mode.”

Kadi has one other great point. “When the other person is talking, don’t start looking around or adjusting your camera, fixing your hair, etc… Look at them and stay interested.” I know I often get an urge to check email or Twitter while on a video call; I try to instead remember to focus on the speaker instead.

Great advice! Got more tips? Leave them in the comments.

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