12 Mistakes that are Screwing Up Your Video Calls


In business, clear and easy communication is exceptionally important. As video calls become a standard in many organizations, it’s still a surprise to know that plenty of users are winging it along. If your video calls keep failing, here are a few mistakes you might be making:

Going with the regular settings

Using that video conferencing program for the first time? After you test it to make sure it works, take the time to adjust the default settings, from the microphone settings to the camera angles and everything else in between. Otherwise, you could end up with an unflattering camera angle or waste minutes into the meeting before you realize your microphone is on mute.

Not dressing up for it

A video call isn’t a license to join the meeting while you lounge in bed in your PJs and nothing else. Dress up right. Unless you regularly attend meetings at the office in your PJs, don’t do it for your video calls. If you’re meeting with team members you haven’t met before, it’s safe to say that wearing your everyday office attire will be better for everyone involved.

Not checking your background

Before you join the meeting, make sure you’re prepared. That includes checking your background for anything you might not want your colleagues or bosses to see. Make sure the background isn’t overly busy either, says the Money Crashers. That could lead to unnecessary distractions, which is the last thing you want to happen.

Not clearing your desk

Tidy up your work space. If there are visuals or tools you need, have them ready and accessible. By getting rid of the clutter and organizing your workspace, you’ll be better prepared for the meeting.

Getting the wrong tools

There are plenty of options for video conferencing tools out there. But going for the cheapest one isn’t going to cut it. Grainy, blurry video quality isn’t going to help you and your team discuss those points, talk about those assignments or review those projects. Pick reputable companies for a service supplier. The BlueJeans video call technology, for instance, makes for a sound option and comes with a host of features—including HD clarity—to make it seem like the people on the other end of the camera is simply in the same room with you.

Not checking your connection

Before you agree to a video meet, check your connection. Poor connection can freeze up the video throughout the meeting. It could also lead to distracting noises and blurry videos. All in all, not the best way to communicate. If you foresee yourself regularly making web-based calls, then spare yourself any future problems by investing in a high-quality connection.

Zero practice

If you’re doing a report during the call, you might want to prepare ahead of time, especially if you’re going to need visual or audio aids. This way, you can time your presentation, trim it and make adjustments before the meet.

Zoning out

It can be difficult to try to keep your head in the video chat if you’ve had a long day and the meeting seems endless. That’s why plenty of people who do find themselves in these meetings zone out. However, zoning out during a conversation can send the wrong impression. Participate. Pay attention. Find a way to stay engaged with the conversation. Jot down a few notes if you must. All these can help you hold it together until the meeting is done.

Failing to lock the door

Who hasn’t heard of the adorable toddler who interrupted her dad’s BBC interview early this year? CNN reports on the family behind the cute incident. However, not all companies take these disruptions and distractions lightly. Be sure to keep your doors locked during that video meeting if you don’t want your toddler waltzing into the room, with her baby brother in tow.

Distracting behavior

Chewing and drinking could be distracting for the rest of the people in the meeting with you. Don’t pop a candy in your mouth unless you’re sure they won’t mind. If you aren’t certain of that, skip the impulse. Also, taking notes could be distracting as well. If you must do so, don’t use your laptop to type those notes. Go with pen and paper instead.

Letting in background noise

The noise of cars and traffic in your home might not be bothering you but it might not have the same effect on the other participants. Keep your microphone muted when you aren’t using it. That way, you can keep distracting ambient or background noises to a minimum.

Not knowing your tools

Master your tools. That way, if you run into snags, you’ll know what to do to fix the problem and keep the meeting going. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with unproductive delays.

Improve the quality of your video meetings. Keep an eye out for these mistakes.