I am thrilled to be able to connect with my Bible study ladies in this stay-at-home season using Zoom.
To be able to see their precious faces and hear their voices is priceless.
With each passing week, I’m learning how to host better video meetings.
As many of us transition from leading groups in-person to online, the learning curve feels fierce!
Those who are leaning in and doing hard things are seeing the benefits.
Side note: If you’re still on the fence, hop over to my post, How to Lead a Virtual Bible Study for some practical advice. Then come back for some tips to smooth your video conferencing experience.
A few small tweaks can create a better video meeting experience for you and your attendees.
10 Tips for Better Video Meetings
My experience is primarily with Zoom; your video platform may be a bit different. Paid plans offer more bells and whistles than the free plan and may be worth the short-term investment.
1. Keep your link private.
Internet trolls are happy to disrupt your calls with all sorts of terrible things. Send out the link via email and only share it in closed Facebook groups.
2. Ask everyone to mute their microphone.
Change your settings, so everyone is automatically muted when they join your call. It helps others hear clearly and cuts way down on the background noise. Ask participants to physically raise their hand to let you know they want to speak.
3. Invite attendees to use the chat room.
Chat rooms allow attendees to comment without unmuting their microphones. They are also a quick way to gather responses or poll the group. Start by asking them to type in a number from 1-5 rating how stress they are right now.
4. Encourage attendees to get up and come back if needed.
Children may need assistance, dogs may need to go out, or participants might need to get a glass of water. Walking around with their camera on is quite distracting. That guideline also keeps folks from accidentally sharing things on camera that shouldn’t be shared.
5. Place your camera at eye level or higher.
Use a tripod or stack of books if needed. It’s much more flattering and keeps folks from feeling like they are looking up your nose.
6. Recruit a host or assistant.
It can be tricky to lead the discussion or teach the lesson, tend to questions in the chat, accept members to the call, mute participants, etc. Ask for help. Give your helper access to the platform’s tools. In Zoom you’ll want to make them a host. Search out tutorials or YouTube videos if you need assistance.
7. Test your camera, speakers, and microphone before you launch your meeting.
Make a practice call with a friend. Can they see and hear you? Explore the platform’s features so you can guide participants in using them. Look for the Test Meeting option if you’re using Zoom.
8. Check the lighting in the room.
Sit facing a window, not in front of it. Turn a lamp on in a dark room. Some platforms have a setting that can help improve your appearance – try it out.
9. Keep the camera still.
It’s almost impossible to hold a phone entirely still. If you’re using your phone, set it in a tripod or on a stand of some sort. Avoid sitting in a rocking chair, too – you might give participants a case of motion sickness.
10. Use headphones.
If you can’t hear or others are struggling to hear you, try using a set of headphones with a built-in microphone.
Please share these tips with your small group leaders and Bible study attendees to help everyone have the best video meeting experience possible.
What other tips do you have for leading and attending video meetings?
You may also want to read:
Virtual Women’s Ministry Resources
3 Keys to Virtual Women’s Ministry
How to Create Social Media Graphics
How to Create a Women’s Ministry Social Media Plan
How to Host a Virtual Bible Study
How to Schedule Social Media Posts
How to Use Facebook Groups for Women’s Ministry
How to Support Your Women When You Can’t Meet Together
Isolation Icebreaker Questions
Social Distancing Random Acts of Kindness
Tips for Creating Live and Recorded Video
Women’s Ministry Email List Service Options