Ready for Your First Video Conference? Check for These 5 Mistakes Before You Start Rolling

You’re not one of those stodgy low-tech attorneys who still makes all his appointments by phone or fax machine. You know that embracing new technology is the only way to stay ahead of your competition—and if other firms offer videoconferencing with clients, then you are only too happy to get on board. Having a face-to-face chat with someone on the other side of the world not only expands your business, it saves you time and money by not having to fly out of D.C. to take a deposition.

But like all technology, the power of a video conference depends on the person who wields it. There’s no sense in investing in the best tools in the business if you don’t know how to use them—and on video, your inexperience will certainly show.

If You Want Your Clients to Take You Seriously, Avoid These Common Videoconferencing Mistakes:

  • Disheveled appearance. A video conference is not a phone call, and you shouldn’t treat it as such. Take a look in the mirror before you sign in to your meeting: do you need a shave? Is your hair windblown, or your tie askew? If you wouldn’t show up in court looking like you do, you shouldn’t attend the meeting that way, either.
  • Inappropriate background. Many attorneys mistakenly believe that the wall behind them makes no difference when attending a videoconference; however, your background can be highly distracting—or worse, inappropriate. Avoid sitting in front of a window, as changing light levels can affect the camera brightness and passing cars can pull the viewer’s eye away from you. If you’re sitting near framed photos or posters, make sure they are not distracting or offensive to your audience.
  • Tardiness. You would never show up to an important meeting late, and a videoconference is no exception. Arriving out of breath or a few minutes late hurts your credibility with your clients and peers, especially since you likely did not have to travel to attend the meeting. If you can, sit down in front of your computer a few minutes before the meeting begins to review your notes and focus on the topics in front of you.
  • Poor body language. While videoconferences are convenient, they shouldn’t be mistaken for casual gatherings. Attendees can see everything that you do, so avoid chewing gum, eating, yawning, fidgeting, or any other behavior that could be considered rude or disrespectful. You should sit in a comfortable chair with your computer or tablet on a stable surface to avoid shifting in your seat, and avoid swearing or speaking too candidly.
  • Multitasking. It’s understandable that you would try to accomplish other tasks while you’re on a meeting. After all, the other attendees may begin discussing something that doesn’t concern you, and you have precious little extra time during the day. But before you return a client’s email or go through tomorrow’s to-do list, remember that everyone in attendance can see you—and they may ask a sudden question that leaves you grasping for a response.

Want to brush up on your videoconferencing skills? Casamo’s on-site technical staff can help you fine-tune your system. We have everything you need to keep you in touch with long-distance clients. Visit our videoconferencing page to learn more or schedule a service.

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