Tips to ensure inclusive video meetings

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our work and social life and put an end to a lot of our regular face-to-face interactions. As a result, online video meetings have become the norm for a lot of us. Whether you are conducting an internal business meeting, hosting a meeting with a client or just catching up with friends, there are a number of tips you should implement to ensure your video meetings are effective and inclusive for all.

 

  1. Make sure everyone’s face who is talking can be seen

You should ensure participants are at the same level as the screen and should all set up their screen to ensure they do not have a bright light behind them such as a window or light. If you are unable to move, try to pull down the blind.

To ensure clear communication, participants should not cover their mouth or turn away when talking and should be sitting within a good range of the speakers about 750mm to 1 metre.

If more than one participant is using the same screen ensure that the camera has moved to the speaker before they commence speaking.

To begin the meeting, the host should ask if everyone can see and hear clearly.

 

  1. Reduce visual distractions

Participants should ensure they do not have any activity happening behind them. This includes other people or screens (computers or televisions) in the same room.

Participants should not put up documents on the screen or a shared screen while people are talking.

 

  1. Reduce aural distractions

Participants should ensure there is only one person talking at a time and there are no other people in the room talking or moving around. There should also be no music or other background noise in the call.

Participants should take a second or two breaks between speakers. This allows the listeners to have a pause, to refocus on the new listener and for closed captions to catch up.

 

  1. Have good internet access

All participants should ensure they have a reliable internet connection to enable clear sound for listening and clear visuals for body language cues, lip reading and auslan signing.

 

  1. CC closed captions

If using closed captions you should source quality ones. Captions that do not correspond to what is being said either in timing or wording only become another distraction for everyone including the person who may be relying on them.

 

Good meeting procedures

These will assist all participants to have a clear idea of the meeting but will also ensure deaf or hard of hearing people will not be excluded from video conferencing.

  • Ensure that the meeting facilitator does facilitate the meeting, not just let it flow.
  • Have an agenda that is available previous to the meeting.
  • Prior to the meeting distribute any important documents to be discussed.
  • Follow the agenda.
  • Indicate during the meeting which agenda item the discussion is referring to.
  • The facilitator should round up each item with a summary of the discussion and/or the decision.
  • Allow a short amount of time between agenda items so people have an opportunity to reflect or ask questions or just have concentration break. This will help all in overcoming meeting fatigue.
  • Minutes are written up and distributed quickly so everyone is clear on the outcomes and tasks resulting from the meeting.

 

AFS are confidently completing client meetings via zoom. If you would like to book a meeting to discuss your taxation obligations or business advisory via zoom, please give us a call on 03 5443 0344 or email us at afs@afsbendigo.com.au

 

 

 

Source: Think Inclusion South West