If you haven’t already done so, the blog, 4 Ways Videoconferencing Can Grow Your Legal Nurse Consulting Business probably has you ready to incorporate videoconferencing into your legal nurse consulting business. In this blog, we’ve asked the CLNC® Pros to share their best practices for videoconferencing. Add these 20 best videoconferencing practices to your CLNC business.
- Set yourself up successfully. You’ll need a webcam or another camera-enabled device such as a tablet, smartphone or laptop. Make sure the webcam you use has a high-quality picture with a good microphone built-in such as the Logitech 930e. If you’re stuck on using an older, microphone-less webcam, you can purchase a separate USB microphone.
- If you’re using a laptop with a built-in camera, you’ll want to try different placements for your laptop to make sure you have an optimal image. One laptop manufacturer is notorious for placing the camera in the bottom of the screen so that your video conference attendees have a great look up your nose. Other brands place them above the screen. You may need to boost the laptop on a stand to get a presentable image.
- If you’re using a phone or tablet, invest in an inexpensive stand for your device to eliminate the shake from holding it and to move the camera to an optimal height. This will keep your hands free to allow you to take notes, etc.
- Confirm your hardware (computer and webcam, phone or tablet) are all in working condition. Check that the volume and picture settings are correct. Clean the camera lens. Be sure you can be viewed from the mid-chest up and that the top of your head is not cut off.
- Download and install the recommended software for your webcam. This gives you greater range of tools to adjust image, focus and lighting.
- Test your connection speed and quality before your first attorney-prospect video conference. Wired Internet connections often give better results than wireless connections.
- Zoom is probably the most well-known, easy to use and free video conferencing platform. It’s fairly intuitive when it comes to setting up and connecting with other users. There are other programs out there such as Facetime, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex and Google Meet. Law firms may have their own preferred software. Whichever platform the attorney prefers make sure you know how to use it and to disable any filters that might interfere with your professional presentation.
- Dress professionally and be dressed from head-to-toe. One treasured Dilbert cartoon shows an unshaven Dilbert videoconferencing while wearing a bathrobe. He’s holding a Dilbert finger-puppet in front of the camera. In reality you can’t predict whether you’ll be standing up, retrieving a legal nurse consulting document or doing something else that may expose more of you to the videoconference than you expected. You don’t want to forget and accidentally show your attorney-client that you’ve got Sponge Bob pajama bottoms on. You may walk through the webcam’s range, so dump the fuzzy pink slippers. The newer webcams can pick up and broadcast an amazing amount of detail with complete clarity so check your teeth for broccoli before you fire up the conference.
- Clear your background and clean up your legal nurse consulting office. Whatever is shown in the background of your webcam’s picture reinforces your image as a professional. Remove personal items and piles of documents or other detritus you don’t want seen. If possible, set up a credibility bookcase behind you or simply place a privacy screen or room divider between you and the clutter. A privacy screen can help to block any traffic paths that a family member or pet might walk through and into your participants’ field of view. If you don’t have space for a privacy screen just double-lock your office door.
- Cut down on possible distractions. To avoid ringing, rattling and other notification distractions, silence your cell phone and unplug any land-line telephones. Consider placing a sign over your doorbell asking delivery people not to ring the bell. If you have email open, be sure to silence any sounds that indicate the arrival of new email. Better yet, close your email so that you can concentrate on the matter at hand. And while you’re at that, be sure to silence your Apple watch.
- Send relevant visuals in advance. If you’re going to show exhibits, demonstrative evidence or CLNC work product to the attorney, consider sending them in PDF format in advance if they will be difficult to view in a screen share.
- If you’re going to screen share, practice in advance so you don’t fumble around with the attorney’s time and perception of your proficiency. Also, have what you want to share open and readily accessible, so you don’t have to waste time searching for documents.
- Set yourself up in advance to stay organized throughout the videoconference. Create a list of 3-5 bullet points and/or write out a script you wish to follow during the videoconference.
- Log in 5 minutes early to ensure you’re on time. CLNC consultant Abigail Stanley states, “Logging on early can help prevent several issues by making sure the link works, checking that your connection works, testing video and audio, and making sure your name is displayed correctly.”
- Utilize the chat function to share any relevant links, product examples, or resources that can be referenced even after the meeting has ended.
- Address the webcam, not the picture of the attorney on your screen, otherwise you’ll appear to be looking in the wrong direction.
- Have a backup plan. If your connection fails, know your next plan of action. For example, a phone or tablet can be a great fallback while you reboot your primary computer or simply used to complete the videoconference. CLNC consultant, Abigail Stanley advises, “If your connection fails and you have to reconnect, simply explain that you had to reconnect and move on with the meeting.”
- Be engaged. CLNC consultant, Abigail Stanley adds, “A hard part about moving to videoconferencing can be creating an authentic human connection virtually. Being engaged is one of the most important parts of any videoconference. Using eye contact, sitting up straight, not lounging and using an appropriate volume while talking are great ways to show that you are engaged and invested in the conversation.”
- React to items being discussed in the appropriate manner. Be interactive and let your personality shine. Wait for other participants to finish speaking before talking. Suzanne Arragg, RN, BSN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC adds “The Internet blips/delays sometimes interfere. Be patient and pause prior to starting to respond to questions asked.”
- Practice videoconferencing with other Certified Legal Nurse Consultants and ask for their feedback before you take it to the big time with your attorney-clients. You may need to learn to sit up straight, address the camera directly and avoid unnecessary movements.
Finally, remember to have fun. Be yourself and let your personality come through. Videoconferencing can add another dimension to your legal nurse consulting business if you’re prepared and ready for it. Thanks to Suzanne Arragg, RN, BSN, CDONA/LTC, CLNC Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC, Robert Malaer, RN, MSN, FN-CSp., SANE, CNLCP, CALM, CLNC, Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC and Abigail Stanley, RN, CLCP, MSCC, CLNC for sharing their best practices for videoconferencing.
Success Is Yours,
P.S. Comment and share your tips for successful videoconferencing.
P.P.S. For more on videoconferencing see the 11/2/21 blog “4 Ways Videoconferencing Can Grow Your Legal Nurse Consulting Business.”