How to make video calls more productive

Video conference calling has exploded in popularity over the last six months. Zoom has grown from 10 million users to over 200 million in just one year, and Microsoft Teams achieved a whooping 70% increase in subscribers – it now has 75 million daily active users and it’s increasing all the time.

Although video calling is a great way to stay connected with colleagues and customers, it also has its downsides… Here are our top tips to make sure that your video calls stay productive and useful for all participants.

  • Think about who you are inviting: It’s important to be selective in who you invite – think about what’s in it for them? Time is precious and nobody wants to have to attend a call that they feel is a waste of an hour. Does ‘everyone’ really need to be invited, or could you add some people as ‘optional,’ giving them the control over whether they want to join?

  • Set an agenda: Participants really appreciate an organiser who has taken the time to develop an agenda – it helps them understand the objectives and expected outcomes. It also means they can prepare for the call and understand in advance where they will be expected to contribute. After the call, it’s also a good idea to send an email to all attendees with the outcomes and action points – that way, everyone will understand the value that the call delivered.

  • Arrive on time: There’s nothing more annoying than waiting on a call for people who are running late; it implies a lack of respect for their time and means everyone has to ‘hang around’ and waste time. If you are running late then notify the organiser to start without you, but ideally arrive promptly and ensure you don’t have connection issues – there’s nothing more annoying that hearing about someone’s broadband problems!

  • Use the functionality: No one wants to hear Darth Vader breathing heavily, or a crying baby in the background. If you aren’t speaking, then it’s good manners to mute your mic. Equally there are some great functions – like hand raising – that are all geared to ensuring that everyone can get their points across without interrupting each other.
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