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Getting the Most Out of Conference Calls in the COVID Season

Posted in Uncategorized | April 22,2020

Even though much of America is quarantining at home because of COVID-19, many of us are still working. And if you’re anything like us, you’ve been using tools like Zoom, Skype and Facetime to collaborate with your team and/or your clients during your work-from-home season.

Here’s a recent screenshot of some of our team members in one of our weekly meetings:

 

 

Don’t ask why one team member is in full face paint. You know how those crazy creative types can be!

While we’re excited to be back in the office this week, it’s worth mentioning that video conferencing turned out to be a very useful tool for us as we were all working from home the past few weeks. We worked out the kinks and now have virtual meetings down to an art form. We don’t want to brag but our Zoom meetings are on point.

In addition to getting our own virtual meeting time perfected, we’ve helped many of our clients do the same with their internal teams. It’s been fun! And we’ve learned a thing or two.

Here, we’ve compiled some tested and proven pro tips that will help maximize your team’s conference call time:

Choose the right application.

From Zoom and Facetime to Google Hangouts and countless others, there are many, many tools in this lane. Some have limited video conferencing abilities and others have more expanded capabilities. Consider your team’s needs and do a little research before sending out the calendar invite.

Make sure everything is right before it’s time to dial in.

Seems simple, right? But do it anyway. Check your internet connection. Log into the app. Make sure you have allowed the app to access your camera and microphone. Don’t wait until the meeting has started to find out your connection is bad or your software isn’t working properly. In a word, be prepared!

Choose your location wisely.

Find a quiet spot in your home; someplace where family members won’t be parading through in their unicorn costumes (I’m sorry to report we don’t have a photo of that little real-life situation to share with the world, but it happened!)

Don’t forget your charger!

Long conference calls can drain your laptop charger more quickly than you might think. Make sure you’re plugged in and powered up before logging in to the meeting.

Avoid feedback.

Not the helpful kind of feedback that a wise colleague might share. Don’t avoid that. We’re talking about the screechy kind that sounds like two microphones got too close together and makes you stick your fingers in your ears! How to avoid this deafening annoyance? Don’t rely on your computer’s iffy built-in microphone and speakers. Find yourself a nice Bluetooth headset or borrow your teenager’s gaming headphones to use when you’re on a call. They will connect easily to your computer while also offering a comfortable fit with a strong microphone.

Mute your mic.

This is conference call 101, right here. When you’re not talking, mute your mic. With groups of more than three participants, this is just good manners. It’s also a good rule no matter your group size if you have hungry children, barking dogs or frequent unexpected noises in your environment, like street noise, phones ringing or doorbells.

No matter what program you choose, it is wise to have a backup plan in case something goes amiss. If things just aren’t working, switch to an audio-only call or in the wise words of someone on the internet, ask yourself, “Could that call have been an email?” Hey, we’re not here to judge; only to help. 🙂

Need help? Yes, we can. Reach out!