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The new norm of video calls – 14 tips to set yourself and others at ease

Video calls and video conferences are now a part of our everyday life. Although it is not the same as meeting your client or colleague face-to-face, it is the best we can do for now.

However, many people find video calls and conferencing hard work. “The primary reason stems from the two-dimensional screen that you and your normally 3D fellow participants have been reduced to. Our brains like to know where we are and where everyone else is in space. It’s a little-known sixth sense called proprioception. The brain can’t figure out how two dimensions change things, and so they spin like a confused computer program wheel and get tired out,” Dr Nick Morgan explains.

In a recent article he shares a few video call tips to make this difficult situation easier for all involved:

  1. Use hand raising in video calls
  2. Provide an agenda before video meetings
  3. Use the right camera
  4. Begin all video calls with an audio-visual check
  5. Implement “health checks” to evaluate emotional well-being of video participants
  6. Elect a video call facilitator to mediate
  7. Rotate duties
  8. Use icebreakers
  9. Hold brainstorming sessions
  10. Use contests
  11. Leave time for personal conversation
  12. Optimise the backdrop
  13. Find good lighting
  14. Prioritise camera-ready clothing and appearance

“With these practices in place, video conferencing can be made bearable, and even fun. They’re still stressful for the unconscious mind, however, and as such, they should be strictly timed, with appropriate breaks so that participants have time to recover,” he advises.

Click here to read more about the detail of each tip.

And, speaking from personal experience, keep the dogs and kids outside and occupied under supervision.

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