Due to COVID-19, law firms across the world have had to find solutions to practice law and keep their practices thriving. This includes creative marketing to keep a steady flow of new clients coming in the door, incorporating video conferencing and web streaming into their operations, and adjusting to a remote, distributed workforce.
Video conferencing offers an alternative to meeting with clients and continuing your firm’s practice.
Whether you are giving a presentation to a group, participating in a virtual court proceeding, or meeting with a client one-on-one, utilizing technology in a professional setting requires preparation. You cannot show up to a business presentation or meeting and hope that everything will go smoothly.
Adjust the Zoom: Video conferencing software tips
You need to test both the audio and video settings before any sort of meeting or presentation. Whether you are using Zoom or another video conferencing program, the settings should have options that you will want to be familiar with for the best results.
If you are the host of the meeting, it is your responsibility to maintain a functioning computer. You should assign a meeting co-host, in case anything goes wrong with your equipment. This allows another person to continue the meeting, should technical difficulties arise.
If you are hosting a meeting or presentation that needs to be recorded, it is beneficial to have multiple people record it. If a recording fails and you notice that it stopped, you will not have to pause the meeting, in order to fix it. If the recording fails and you do not notice it, you still will have access to the footage that you need. You also should start the recording prior to commencing the recording, so the announcement does not disrupt the meeting.
If you are joining a meeting hosted by another party, it is in your best interest to have another way of connecting to the meeting, should something happen to your primary device. Having multiple devices is a beneficial practice that lends itself to the least amount of interruption possible when technical difficulties occur.
Can your computer handle it?
Maintaining a healthy computer is a necessary component to conducting business through video conferencing. That means restarting it prior to the video conference, if you have not restarted your computer in some time. That means rechecking audio and video setting, to ensure that they have not been restored to default as a result of the restart. That also means checking your internet connection.
Internet connectivity is a common problem when attempting to meet with a client or host a meeting through video conferencing. Depending on your location and your internet provider, you may have content being pulled from other platforms, slowing down your speed and causing problems to your video conference.
By having a wired internet connection, you are skipping past issues related to the amount of data that audio and video requires, such as choppy or dropped video calls or audio and video syncing issues.
You also need to make sure that there are not any programs running on your computer that will create competing audio. Even if it is something as innocuous as the sound of an instant message from a messaging program, it can deter from the professionalism of the moment. Know how to mute or suppress any notifications.
It is always beneficial to hold a test meeting with a known associate, so you can ensure that all of the technical aspects previously discussed are properly working, especially on a video conference platform or equipment you are less familiar with.
A key aspect to navigating any sort of technical issue is to avoid panicking. You need to be deliberate in your actions when attempting to diagnose an issue during the video conference.
Avoid making multiple changes when attempting to correct the problem, if you do not know what is causing the technical difficulty.
Pets, kids and doorbells: How to conference from home professionally
When navigating a video conference for a meeting with a client or a presentation of some sort, noncomputer problems can be just as distracting as computer problems.
While remote working allows for easier access to life at home, it also can allow for unanticipated distractions that can be curbed beforehand. This includes background interruptions. Holding the meeting in a secluded room with the door closed allows for the professionalism that you wish to convey.
Similarly, if you are appearing on camera for video conferencing, you want to maintain a professional appearance and dress accordingly. Avoid white or brightly-colored clothing or clothing with specific patterns.
You also are going to want to avoid having your back to an open window or any sort of strong light source. Maintaining a clear and professional presence means your client or the associate that you are speaking to, is able to see you on your video call. That also means positioning yourself with light shining toward you from a desk lamp. If there is natural light, consider a sheer shade to diffuse the light. You also need to ensure there are no visual distractions on-camera in the background, nothing personal you don’t want others to see, no documents, notes or exhibits visible that could be screen-grabbed and enhanced later. The environment should be clean and orderly.
Your clients, associates, or the court are taking time out of their day to speak with you. You need to value their time and effort by maintaining effective video conferencing practices and enforcing a culture of these practices at your firm.
That means investing in technology and how it can assist your law firm do what it does best: practice law. By partnering with us, at Lexicon, we can be your resource for all of your computer and technology needs.
Our teams of legal marketing and legal information technology professionals can provide you, your attorneys, and your legal staff all of the tools necessary to host any presentation or meet with any client via video conferencing.
You need to invest in the future of your firm. Contact us at Lexicon today.