Working from remote places or in distributed teams doesn't have to be a blocker for effective collaboration. These easy rules allow you to conf call like a pro.
Most of our design work is highly collaborative and agile rituals such as standup, demo or planning are one of the keys to our success. We do our best to keep them under any circumstances so we put together a few rules to improve teleconference experience for everyone attending. Doesn’t matter whether you are the organiser or not, suggest the rules to the attendees and embrace them during your calls.
Most problems occur because of a poor connection, so make sure your device is connected to a solid and reliable network. If it is poor, turn off your camera and use voice only.
Use headphones if possible, speakers cause echoes. Also, sound is usually better from headphones than from a computer.
Turn off your mic when you are not speaking to avoid background noises. Only turn it on when it’s your turn to speak or when it is absolutely necessary to interrupt.
For meetings without a facilitator, use your facilitation skills and offer yourself to moderate the discussion (e.g. large number of attendees, Q&A session etc.)
Have attendees ask questions in the chat so the discussion can be moderated. If you expect a lot of attendees (15+) on your call and the chat might be crowded, consider using Sli.do so the questions don’t get lost in a thread.
If video or screen sharing doesn’t cause problems with connection, use it. It can improve the effectiveness of the meeting.
7. Screen sharing
When sharing the screen, don’t forget to have all your notifications turned off (so the Toggl reminder doesn’t pop up every 2 minutes).
Stick to the agenda, timebox the activities and by the end of the call, make sure attendees know what their tasks and actionable steps are.
Best way to engage everyone is making them do something useful. What that may be during a group video call? Note taking. It will help the attendees remember their tasks and ot also keeps their mind focused on the topic.
Dress up like you usually do for work and sit up properly. This will not only help you maintain your dignity but also strengthen the focus of you and other attendees.
Have another great advice we should include? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org