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Lights, Camera, Business: Video Conferencing Tips for Business Owners

 

Not all businesses shut down during the pandemic. Some actually thrived. Many business owners found new and interesting ways to keep going. One of those ways involved video conferencing. Suddenly, everyday people discovered the front-facing camera on their smartphones and tablets. They also realized there was a camera on their laptop. Not long after that, they discovered that camera was hot garbage.

It all happened very quickly. You might recall that before the pandemic, the advice for anyone doing business was to tape over the laptop camera so that it could not be used by hackers. That was a legitimate concern. As a result of the great camera scare, OEMs lost interest in making good laptop cameras. Apple was the worst of the culprits.

Once people realized they had to start using those abandoned and forgotten cameras, they were unprepared. Many were camera shy. Many were paranoid that someone might use the camera for spying. The latter was such a strong concern that some laptop makers started putting physical shutters over the camera so that people could know for sure that it wasn’t being used. Even now, people are still doing video conferencing badly. Here are a few pointers to help you stand out in the conferencing crowd:

Dress Like a Successful Business Owner

Whether you are in the office or in your basement, when you are on a business call with your employees or clients using video, you should always dress as if you were doing business in person. There is no room for shortcuts. You should be all business from head to toe. If you normally wear one of those professional-looking plus size off the shoulder tops with a shawl overlay, that is what you should wear for your conference call. You should never make the person you are talking to feel like they weren’t important enough for you to properly dress.

To dress down on such occasions will be seen by many as a sign of disrespect, especially if they took the time to dress for the call. You will never close a business deal or improve a working relationship with a staff member when the other person feels disrespected. When it comes to video conferencing, there are no casual Fridays. As a business owner, you cannot just dress from the waist up. You need to take the same care for your wardrobe even when much of it is off camera. If you dress unprofessionally, you tend to behave that way. So dress like you own the business, because you do. No client will ever complain that you looked too professional, and no employee will complain that “the boss” is always too dressed up.

Get a Better Camera

Your video might look just fine to you. But trust me: If you’re the owner of a business, and you are using the built-in camera on your laptop, your video is not good enough. And the people on the other side of the video conference can tell. Camera quality is obviously important with regard to video marketing. When you are doing live video that will be consumed entirely on social media, audiences can be highly critical of poorly produced content.

Do yourself a favor and find a definitive list of the best webcams in 2021. Find one that is compatible with your computer and prepare to build your audience. Remember, they won’t stick around long enough to hear what you have to say if your video doesn’t look like you care.

Make a Complete Presentation

Getting your face on camera is only a part of the process. If you were doing a presentation in the office, you would have handouts and slides to go along with what you are saying. This is an important part of achieving and maintaining audience engagement.

You have the same ability to do this on conference calls. It doesn’t matter if you use Zoom or Skype. Most conferencing apps provide a way for you to share your screen for doing slides, and handing out digital documents. You don’t have to settle for a partial presentation. If you want to score points with a client or be a better leader to your employees, go the extra, digital mile.

Doing business over video is still doing business. Forget that at your peril. Video conferencing is here to stay. So be sure to dress for success. Get a better camera. And always make a complete presentation.

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