# 1 Sound is more important than the picture
A good webcam and a suitable background are important at the conference via Skype or Google Hangouts. However, the really decisive factor is often overlooked: the sound quality, warns Josephine Hofmann from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering. In a blog post by the research institution, the head of the “Cooperation and Leadership” team advises a self-test: “Where do you have more patience without reacting: If you only hear noise and misalignment on the car radio because you are leaving a broadcasting area, or if you are temporarily offered poorer picture quality or pixelation on TV? I bet you react much faster with the car radio. ”Anyone who is likely to be in contact with colleagues and customers from their home office for the foreseeable future should therefore ensure good audio quality. The microphone on the Bluetooth headphones is often sufficient.
# 2 Set the order of the calls
It can be difficult to speak up, especially in conference calls. But even larger video chats are often confusing. Delays in data transmission also help participants to start talking at the same time. According to Hofmann, it helps to establish a general discussion order in advance. This is particularly valuable at regular meetings when it comes to queries, inputs and statements.
# 3 Take breaks
Speaking of time delays for online conferences: Even with stable data connections, these cannot always be avoided. Longer pauses in conversation are the best antidote. “Get used to longer breaks between questions and answers,” recommends Hofmann. “This costs discipline, but prevents the collisions that otherwise inevitably occur.”
# 4 Determine contact person for technology
Technology questions arise inevitably at larger conferences. How do you switch chat channels, how do you access shared documents? According to the expert, it is helpful to determine a contact person here. For many participants, this should not be the conversation leader: “This calms the process and increases productivity.”
# 5 feedback
Video conferencing is rarely perfect. Those who recognize this help to make the communication path better. Hofmann therefore advises that you take a few minutes for a feedback session at the end of each session. Questions like these should be answered: “How did it go today? What did we do well? Where can we get better? What will we try next time? “