12 Tips to optimize your video calls and not die trying

For over a year now, the COVID-19 healthcare crisis has imposed new ways of working. At first, we all had to adapt in a hurry but now, some of these measures, such as teleworking and video calls, seem to have taken hold in many companies.

This article lists the best tips for getting the most out of video calls and thus optimizing everyone’s energy and productivity.

    1. Whenever possible, set up the meeting in advance. People will be able to better organize their agenda and prioritize your meeting over other events that may come later.
    2. In the meeting invitation, leave in writing:
      • The overall objective of the meeting.
      • The issues to be addressed.
      • The attendees and their positions, in case not all attendees know each other.
    3. If you are working on a document or presentation, send it in advance, facilitating pre-reading. This will help the attendees to be more familiar with the subject matter and will allow for faster progress.
    4. Address the most important issues at the beginning of the meeting so that you can devote as much time as needed to them. If there are less important topics, cover them at the end of the meeting.
    5. Respect the start and end times of the meeting and leave a few minutes of courtesy at the end to give a break to people who may have to go into another videoconference.
    6. Familiarize yourself with the platform you will be using and pre-test before the meeting to minimize problems in the call.
    7. Keep your camera on. Several studies have found an increase in concentration when you keep your camera on in these types of meetings.
    8. However, when it comes to routine meetings, turn off the camera. In this way we reduce the environmental impact generated by using these technologies by 96%.
    9. Maintain eye contact with the camera as this will make it appear as if you are looking at your interlocutors. It may help placing a post-it to point to the camera.
    10. Use a neutral or blurred background; do not use histrionic default backgrounds provided by some platforms (paradisiacal beaches, space landscapes, etc).
    11. At the end of the meeting, send the attendees a brief summary of the main points discussed and the possible assignments of the participants.
    12. Most importantly, practice empathy and understanding with others and with yourself. Don’t be embarrassed by possible interruptions (children, pets, delivery people…).