More and more traditional conference calls are taking a backseat to web-based video conferencing. Especially during uncertain times, associations are producing more and more virtual programming to replace live meetings.
Here’s a few tips and guidelines:
- Please be technology ready. Once you’ve accepted the invitation, download ZOOM or whatever program platform you’re using. Don’t wait for day of to figure out the technology. Five or 10 minutes before the event, link through and be prepared to join the session so that any tech glitches you may have can be resolved in advance. Once the session begins, the staff may be unavailable to hand-hold you through the process.
- Where and how you participate on the video conference will be important. Choose wisely. Unless you’re speaking up front, be sure you are muted at sign on or after roll call or introductions. Otherwise attendees will be able to hear background noises such as your phone ringing or emails coming in. If you’re participating from outside, interference during a commute can also come into play. If working from home, you may want to close the door where you’re participating, although pet/child/spouse sightings are becoming more and more acceptable.
- If you plan to participate in listening mode only, joining without using your camera, you should still try and watch your screen so that you can see when it’s appropriate to speak up or respond to a question. You can also use the chat function to get someone’s attention or there might be a reaction function to raise your hand and wait to be called upon.