Even in this remote working world we’ve found ourselves adapting to, first impressions matter. Research shows it takes just seven seconds for someone to form an opinion of you, and with so many of us meeting new prospects, clients or even employees for the first time via video call, it makes sense to fully prepare for these moments.
How video calls represent your business
Whites of eyes and handshakes have suddenly been replaced with awkward waves and calls of “I think you’re on mute!”. It’s no longer just your communication skills and appearance you need to consider when it comes to impressing a new prospect, but ensuring you aren’t about to face any technical issues. Untidy backgrounds and bad signals can undermine all the hard work and preparation you’ve put into your call. You wouldn’t turn up at a client’s office mumbling, with your shirt untucked, after all, would you?!
On the other hand, taking a bit of time to understand your video call platform and some of the ways you can improve sound and video quality can get your meeting off to a great start, and present your company in the best light.
Improving visual quality
A cluttered background with members of your family making the odd cameo appearance is at best, a little unprofessional, and at worst, distracting for others on your call. Our advice would be either to find a quiet and tidy corner of a room that you can dedicate to video calls, or experiment with custom backgrounds.
Platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom allow you to select from a range of backgrounds, or, better still, upload your own custom background. Not only do you not have to worry about any frantic last-minute tidying, it’s also an opportunity to use your branding, and can be a great ice breaker – win, win!
Improving audio quality
“Can you hear me?” and “you need to unmute your microphone” have become the battle cries of 2020 that will go down in history. It’s the challenge that’s levelled the playing field for businesses of all sizes, but luckily there are ways you can improve the sound quality of your video calls. Doing so not only makes you look more capable and in control but ensures you get as much out of your meeting as possible and that no valuable information is missed.
Muting your microphone is important when you aren’t speaking, especially if you’ve got a large number of participants – it eliminates your background noise, as well as that dreaded feedback (just remember to unmute yourself when it’s your turn to speak!). You can even adjust your settings to automatically mute you when joining a call.
To improve your connection, and therefore avoid the break-up of sound mid-call (or worse, being disconnected mid-sentence), consider freeing up some bandwidth. Disconnect some devices from your wi-fi before your call and uninstall any unnecessary apps.
If you’re still struggling, remember you have the option to dial in separately on a landline or mobile too.
Consider Zoom Room installation
Depending on the size of your business and how frequent your video calls are, you might also want to consider Zoom Room installation. A Zoom Room is simply the physical hardware setup that allows companies to schedule and launch Zoom meetings from their conference rooms.
It allows your employees to join your Zoom meetings remotely, the quality of your calls is vastly improved, and it’s much easier to set up and join a meeting in the first place – how many times have you been in a Zoom meeting where every attendant is on time, having encountered no issues?! You can also use Zoom Room apps to share files, websites, and other content during the meeting itself, making the whole experience much more seamless.
It’s something to consider if you see Zoom calls being a big part of your future, or you’re planning to scale up your business.
However far you take things, remote working is set to be a big part of the future, so it makes sense to make the best impression you can by making sure your video calls represent your business in the best way possible.
Sam Dimond is Director of Spotlight Sound, lighting, video and sound specialists, who also provide Zoom installations for companies of all sizes.