Remote Meetings: How To Be Effective and Get The Most Out Of Them!
The last couple of years have seen a huge rise in remote meetings and so a lot of us have been trying to learn how to best contribute to them. Fortunately, modern technology has lots of ways to help and can in some ways even beat a traditional meeting – it just needs approaching from a slightly different angle.
Microphone etiquette in remote meetings
Microphones come in many shapes, sizes, costs, and qualities, so it’s important to find the right one for you. First things first – the most important thing is to make sure you can be clearly heard and that you’re not transmitting unwanted noise. Make sure that you’re not picking up any interference from other electronics by making a test recording and playing it back, listening for the hum of static. Sometimes this can be fixed by moving cables around, but sometimes it might just be a bad microphone! Typically, microphones built into webcams are low-quality, but this isn’t always the case (the Logitech C922 has a very solid microphone, for example) and most office laptops are designed with online meetings in mind and so have perfectly acceptable built-in microphones.
If your workspace is noisy, try closing doors or using a headset microphone – if the microphone is closer to your face, it will be less sensitive to background noise. If you still can’t eliminate noise, consider muting your microphone when you’re not talking. This will spare your colleagues from any unexpected interruptions, however, there’s not much you can do about background noise when you’re actually talking. Just don’t forget to unmute.
Make your presentations pop
Give your audience something to look at during your presentation – don’t just leave them looking at your webcam feed, especially as you’ll be concentrating on what you’re saying. XSplit Presenter allows you to easily put together slides, videos, or window sharing, and camera feeds on top of your slides, as well as letting you organize all of these in advance, so you won’t be left scrambling to find that video clip you wanted to share.
By sharing specific windows, you can ensure that you don’t accidentally show sensitive data in a different application or on your desktop, helping with security as well. You can make annotations on your slides in real-time, which means you can highlight the specific areas you’re talking about, or add notes as you go. It’s even possible to bring in video or audio feeds from other presenters, right to your broadcast, putting you both on-screen at once.
Make everyone feel included in remote meetings
With online meetings, it’s important to be aware of the limitations of the technology. There’s a slight delay between you speaking and everyone else hearing it, which means that our instincts around interrupting feel slightly off, so try to be sensitive to when other people start talking. Additionally, you can’t have a side conversation or comment with another person as you could in real life – all conversations have to involve everyone because there’s only one audio channel. This can be especially awkward before or after the main part of the meeting, where people would naturally split off and chat amongst themselves.
It’s also worth trying to make sure your microphone volume is set to a reasonable level; if you’re significantly louder or quieter than everyone else it can feel awkward. You can ask a colleague if your volume level sounds right to them or with XSplit Presenter you can do a quick test recording before you go live to check everything is set up correctly! (It’s also not a terrible idea to practice your presentation beforehand, pre-recording it in XSplit Presenter and watching it back to see where you could improve before the big day!)
Remote meetings don’t have to be a worry – there are many ways to ensure you can still give effective presentations and everyone feels like they are contributing. We’ve touched on using XSplit Presenter and other meeting tips several times before, but there are always new things to try. Let us know what you’re using in the comments below!