How to Prepare for Video Calls

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Video calls bring a lot of value to businesses across many industries, online teachers, and coaches. When done right, they have the power to connect people, increase efficiency and learning. But, how can we prepare for video calls to make sure they are successful instead of wasting everyone’s time?

In this blog post, we’ve put together some effective strategies to help you prepare for your video calls with ease.


When is video call preparation needed and why?


Video calls have many applications in the online environment for business and individuals alike. It connects the four corners of the world into one screen. Since the use of video calling is so broad, chances are, you’ll encounter many situations where you’ll need to prepare for video calls and many others that you won’t.

The rule of thumb is if you want to get a message across, effectively, preparation is key.

Preparing your video call is also relevant when you want to convey credibility and professionalism. If you prepare for video calls, you increase your chances of impacting your audience, peers, clients and anyone on the other side of the call.

Online teaching on video calls

It’s particularly vital to prepare for video calls if you are an online teacher. Live online classes have many variables, which means a lot can go wrong. When you take your time to prepare the lesson and follow the tips below, you’ll be able to deliver highly engaging online classes, even if something goes wrong.

Video calls for businesses

Another critical application of video calling that requires proper preparation is in business. Whether you have a call with a peer, a client or a supplier, preparing for the video calls will help you reach your desired outcome. Plus, it will show a high level of professionalism, which makes it much easier to build trust.

Other video calls

If you’re planning a video call with friends or family, you won’t need to worry too much about preparation. However, it’s still relevant to check your equipment and test before the call. If you want to WOW them, you might take a few extra steps in preparing for the video call.

What can happen if you aren’t prepared for your video call?

The lack of preparation might not get you the desired outcome from the video call. Let’s say you’re closing a business deal. If the person on the other end of the video call feels like you weren’t prepared with proper content, equipment, and ability, you won’t close the deal.

Despite the widely known technical issues you can have in a video call, such as sound malfunction, slow internet connection, and subpar image quality, you could also face other challenges. Some common video calling challenges are:

  • Delivering your message clearly
  • Getting over nerves
  • Using tech to your advantage
  • Not having enough content
  • Organization

How to prepare for video calls

Planning process

When it comes to video call preparation, planning is front and center. It includes scheduling, defining goals, creating an outline and much more.

Though planning processes will vary depending on the type of video calls you make, it usually looks something like this:

  • Define your desired outcome – What’s the goal of that particular class or meeting?
  • Create the material necessary – What content do you need to achieve your goal?
  • Equipment setup – Do you have all the gear necessary?
  • Designate a location – Think about your background in terms of image and noise.
  • Schedule the video call – Consider different time zones and availability
  • Invite others – Outline the topics that will be discussed and give the other participants a chance to prepare as well.
  • Confirm the video call beforehand – It also serves as a reminder to the attendees.

You can and should go in-depth with your video call planning, considering everything you might need to achieve the outcome you want.

For instance, you can list the material necessary in detail, from graphics to copy and any other tool you’ll need to deliver your message clearly. Some online teachers might need digital props to enhance the learning experience, while others might add pre-recorded videos or images.

In a business meeting, you might need to create a slide deck, charts and other visual proof of concept necessary to get the results you want. The point is, each video call has its own planning process which you’ll discover and adapt as you go.

Contingency plans

Designing contingency plans for your video calls can help you avoid failures and build up your confidence. With its many technical aspects, video calls can go terribly wrong if you don’t have a contingency plan. You can predict the possible issues that could come up during your call and map your future actions accordingly.

The most common video calling issues are:

  • Equipment failure
  • Software failure
  • Internet connection issues
  • Low-quality image or lag
  • Not knowing what to say next

To create your contingency plans, ask yourself tons of questions and work out the possible solutions. For example, what if my webcam stops working? You could have a back-up webcam, connect your mobile as your webcam, continue the video call with other visual assets and so on.

Testing

Before your video call, you should also test all your equipment. You can ask a friend to do a video call with you, so you can check everything together, as well as, record yourself and make sure you’re happy with the overall quality.

When it comes to live video, testing is essential. We’ve created a live streaming checklist that also comes in handy when you make video calls. It will help you test all your equipment and plan your back-ups.

Maximizing effectiveness

During any video call, digressing is common. To maximize your effectiveness, make sure you have a clear outline right your front of you when preparing for the video call. It will help you stay on track and keep the subject moving forward.

To prepare for video calls, you might also come up with a list of possible questions you’ll receive and questions you want to ask participants. This is also a highly effective antidote to the awkward silences.

Different video sources

One of the main issues of video calls, apart from its technicalities, is keeping the participants engaged. Staring at a talking head (webcam point of view) during an entire call is far from compelling. So, when you want to prepare for video calls and make sure they are successful, think about using different sources. In other words, deliver dynamic video calls with images, videos, slide decks, screencasting, and multi-camera setups.

ManyCam might be able to help you get creative during your video calls. Check out our YouTube Channel for some inspiration!


Key takeaway

Getting ready for your video calls will help you eliminate or, at least, diminish most challenging situations we mentioned above. In particular, being prepared for your video call will give you more confidence, and you’ll be able to perform better as a host or attendee.

To prepare for video calls is only part of the equation for successful meetings or online classes. The aftermath is also crucial. Once your video call is over, take some time to evaluate how it went. You can analyze how prepared you were, if you encountered any issues that could have been avoided, if you got your message across and so on. Then, optimize.

Check out more professional live video tips:

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