Top Tips for Effective Video Conferencing for Accounting Managers
As an accounting manager, the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way you interact at work. For example, communicating with the executives in your company and with your team of accountants and finance professionals has likely become reliant on video meetings. For example, in Q3 2020, Zoom announced it had around 433,700 customers with more than 10 employees, an increase of 485% from the previous year.
You may once have been used to sitting across the boardroom table from your colleagues, making eye contact and reading body language. You now need to adapt to video conferencing and the challenges that come with it.
To help you get the most from your video meetings, we have put together a list of our top video conferencing tips.
Looking Good on Camera
Looking good on camera doesn’t mean being profile-pic-worthy every second you are on screen. It means that you have good video etiquette.
As an accounting manager, you are often the face of your department. Over video, you need to retain that same level of professionalism and attentiveness that you have in-person to keep your rapport with those you are working with.
Some good tips for looking good on camera are to:
- Maintain eye contact – this doesn’t mean looking at the screen. During video meetings, to keep eye contact you need to look directly into your webcam.
- Position your webcam well – the location of your built-in webcam makes a difference to how you look on screen, and how you view others. If it is in an unflattering position (such as below your screen), it may be worth purchasing another webcam to connect to your laptop and position it at a more flattering angle, such as at eye level.
- Check your webcam distance – check the distance between your webcam and your eyes. Webcams are typically wide-angled lenses and a few inches’ difference in position can create large distortions on your face.
Use Sticky Notes
Sticky notes should be every accounting manager’s best friend. There are many ways that using sticky notes in video meetings can help you out.
Before your meeting, create a sticky note of every topic you want to discuss. Having this sticky note means you won’t be scrolling through tabs trying to find your agenda, and you can keep the video meeting moving at a good pace.
Another great tip is to place the sticky note at the level of your webcam. This will keep you looking directly at your cam and help with maintaining eye contact.
Raise Your Laptop
To get your laptop at eye level and maintain that necessary eye contact, you will probably need to raise your laptop off your desk.
There are specifically designed products for this. You can find a wide variety of laptop stands on sites such as Amazon. As a makeshift solution, you can always find a thick book or stack some other objects under your laptop.
Another great advantage of raising your laptop is it can improve posture and greatly reduce neck and back pain from hunching over your laptop all day.
Staying focused is key to having a successful video call. Whether at home or in the office when connecting to a video meeting, you probably have several distractions around you.
You want to give your full attention to the video meeting you are attending. Checking your phone, fidgeting, playing with objects in your hands etc., all give the impression of disinterest and/or discourtesy. To remove distractions:
- Find a private room and lock the door, to ensure that you cannot be disturbed
- Place your cell phone on mute and hide it somewhere out of sight so you aren’t tempted to check it
- Remove all objects except a notebook and pen from your desk
To Sum Up
It is becoming normal practice for meetings to be conducted online and via video link. On many ways, you will find that video meetings are like in-person meetings. However, they do require that you adapt your ‘meeting technique’.
It’s important to maintain eye contact, remain focused, and avoid distractions. By following the above tips, you will be sure to keep making a great impression during your meetings.