The virtual and remote workplace is here to stay, and so is video conferencing for small businesses and large corporations. More than 80% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely for the foreseeable future, which means that meetings by screen are also not going away anytime soon.

To adapt and thrive, small business owners must learn how to master video conferencing. While virtual meetings do present interpersonal challenges, there are ways you can perfect your online presence, projecting professionalism and credibility through a screen.

Rosemary Ravinal, a communications expert, public speaker, and Zoom mastery trainer, has a gift for helping others cultivate their virtual persona.

“The ability to succeed in whatever field you’re in is going to rely heavily on your ability to be authentic, clear, compelling, and effective in this new space,” Ravinal said during her #BizHackLive webinar, “Zoom Mastery for Business Leaders.” 

Ravinal helps small business owners tap into their personal power and embrace the importance of a good first impression that goes beyond the confines of a computer screen. For her do’s and don’ts of remote communication, keep reading.

TLDR: The 6 Tips To Master Small Business Video Conferencing

Virtual is here to stay, and as a small business owner, you should understand the basics of Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms. Show up, turn on your video, and be your best virtual self.

  • Tip 1: Focus on the Positives
  • Tip 2: Speaker Checklist for Success
  • Tip 3: Avoid Common Mistakes
  • Tip 4: Create a Powerful Presence
  • Tip 5: Choose Your Set
  • Tip 6: Think Like a Photographer
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Focus on the Positives

The most obvious benefit of small business video conferencing and remote work is not commuting to the office every day. 

Another benefit to working remotely is that hard times tend to bring people together. Ravinal said to use this as an opportunity to build a stronger team through meaningful conversations with your colleagues and working more closely in collaboration than you would in the office. 

Speaker Checklist for Success & Timeline

Conducting meetings via zoom for small business owners requires a visual-first mindset, and presentation matters a great deal. Ravinal said to create a dedicated space for your work—or download a cool background—so your colleagues and clients don’t have to see the dirty laundry piling up in the corner. 

Here’s a checklist of things to do to ensure that your small business video conference meetings and online events go well:

The day before your event:

Check all your equipment: Turn on the camera on your phone or computer, make sure it’s set at a proper angle and check the lighting in your room. The last thing you want is for the light to shift during a meeting and blind your audience. 

Check the audio and video to ensure they’re both working and consider using a headset or earbuds to create clear audio. Make sure to be up-to-speed with the functionalities and capabilities of your equipment. 

Anticipate tech failures during the event and make sure you have back-up batteries or devices at the ready. Finally, ensure the quality of your internet connection so you have optimal connectivity during the videoconference.

Day of the event:

Get camera ready. Your reputation is on view, so dress the part and take the same care with your grooming as you would an in-person meeting. For some extra panache, scarves and earrings are great accessories in the virtual environment. 

Set an agenda and follow it. Use your time efficiently as people’s attention spans seem like they get shorter every day. The more coherent and compact your message, the better you’ll keep your audience’s attention.

Make yourself heard. Practice positive affirmations and do a quick meditation before the meeting to calm your nerves. This will help you center yourself so you can bring positive energy to the call. Then, embrace your inner confidence to make yourself heard.

Avoid Common Small Business Video Conferencing Mistakes

Ravinal said that although we want to make the virtual world look as human as possible, there are a few common pitfalls that small business owners will want to avoid making on Zoom calls. Before logging in to a virtual meeting, take a look at your surroundings.

Avoid ear pulling, nose touching, or rubbing your eyes during the call, which can indicate your state of mind. 

“Your ability to communicate, to be a team player, and to be part of a winning team that’s cohesive will all be in question,” Ravinal said.

Create a Powerful Presence

Body language and nonverbal communication are important on virtual calls as well as in person. Make sure to use positive body language and consider the placement of your arms, hands, and head, as well as your overall body posture. Keep your hands in view and consider whether you should sit or stand. Finally, moderate your breathing and remember that your body language affects your voice.

Choose Your Set

Ravinal said that when choosing whether to use a green screen or live set (aka your living room, home office, kitchen, or wherever you’ll be taking the call), you need to consider a few things: 

  • Is it believable? Does it add to your message? Your video set should complement your message and engage the senses.
  • Is it distracting? Children and pets should be kept away from the set.

Think Like a Photographer

When setting up your equipment, follow the basic rules of still photography. Abide by the rule of thirds, which means that your eyes should be in the top third of the video image during the Zoom for your small business. Keep these other basic tenets of photography in mind:

  • Composition
  • Balance
  • Depth of field 
  • Focus 
  • Exposure

In the end, make your small business video conferencing strategies work for you. Your calls, whether they’re with clients or employees, should represent you properly. After all, Ravinal said, what would you want someone to see and feel if you welcomed them into your home? Want more tips? On Wednesdays, join BizHack Academy for our FREE#BizHackLive Webinars and hear experts discuss the latest and best small business marketing strategies. For a list of upcoming events, click here.