7 Tips for Effective Video Calls with Clients
In this post, we’ll share some tips for video call etiquette that’ll ensure you look and sound your best every time.
1. Dress Professionally
It can be tempting to dress casually when working from home. But remember, the impression you give your clients will depend on how you present yourself – and that includes what you’re wearing.
When preparing for a video call, pick out an outfit that’s smart and professional. Try to avoid:
- Distracting patterns or bright colors
- Shirts with offensive slogans
- Wrinkled or messy clothes
- Jewelry or other accessories that make excessive noise
Dress how you would for any in-person professional setting, such as a job interview or presentation, to show that you’re taking your client’s call seriously!
2. Check Your Backdrop
In a video call, it’s not just you that’s on display. Your client will be able to see whatever is behind you, so keep this in mind while you’re setting up.
Try and find a backdrop that’s clear of clutter and free from anything that will distract from the call itself, such as TV screens or wall decorations.
Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a neutral backdrop for your video call, though. Some video call platforms, like Google Meet and Zoom, come with the option to blur your background or even replace it with something else entirely.
3. Remove Any Distractions
Working from home can mean being surrounded by potential distractions, including background noise. To make sure you and your client can focus on communicating:
- Find a quiet space to make your call
- Close doors to shared rooms
- Turn off non-essential electronics
- Mute notifications on your phone and computer
- Wear headphones
Of course, we can’t always guarantee that we won’t be distracted during a call – especially those of us who live with children or pets! If you do have an unexpected disruption, though, mute your microphone, and then apologize to your client once it’s handled.
4. Test Your Tools
Having to abandon a meeting with a client thanks to a dodgy mic is every freelancer’s worst nightmare, so always take the time to test your sound, video, and any other necessary tools before starting your call.
You could even ask a friend, family member, or coworker to go through a test call with you and make sure everything’s working as it should. When doing this, pay close attention to:
- The quality of the audio from both ends (i.e., can you both hear each other clearly?)
- Whether the audio and video are in sync
- The strength of your internet connection
5. Show Up Prepared
Just like any other professional meeting, you’ll need to be ready and prepared for a video call with a client. This includes:
- Starting or joining the call on time
- Possessing all the relevant information about your client, their work, and what you’ve discussed with them so far
- Knowing what the purpose of the call is (e.g., discussing a brief or going over recent edits)
- Having a rough estimate of how long the call will last
- Having any material that you’ll need on hand and/or files pulled up on your computer
Showing up to a call well-prepared proves to your client that you respect them and their time, which will help establish a good working relationship.
6. Pay Attention to Body Language
It might seem obvious, but a video call isn’t like a phone call. Being able to see each other means you have to pay attention not just to your words, but also your body language. The following body language will indicate that you’re listening and attentive during a video call:
- Maintaining regular eye contact
- Avoiding looking at yourself on the screen
- Sitting upright with your feet on the floor
- Keeping your expression open
- Keeping hand gestures to a minimum
Hold your body as you would during an in-person conversation, and you’ll find that your video calls become more effective.
Learning how to communicate on camera won’t come easily to everyone. With that in mind, the best way to get the most out of your video calls is to practice talking on screen.
Have a go at talking to the camera as if you were meeting with a client, and then play back the recording. Use the tips we’ve laid out in this post to identify any issues with your call, and then try again.
As with anything, practice always makes perfect!
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