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6 tips to encourage people to turn on their camera or microphone

Virtual Networking
Remote Work
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Remo Staff



January 18, 2024

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Zoom fatigue is real and remote and hybrid employees or event participants are increasingly opting out of participating to their full potential. In a virtual-first era, it’s now more important than ever to take advantage of every feature and function that heightens communication and engagement online. Making sure that all employees or participants feel comfortable and confident turning their cameras and microphones on is a must. 


In this article, we’ll dive into 6 expert tips that you can leverage to encourage people to turn on their camera or microphone during your next online meeting or virtual event. 


  1. Communicate expectations prior to the meeting or event

You can’t expect meeting or event participants to turn on their camera or microphone if you haven’t clearly set those expectations from the get-go. If participants haven’t been informed of these expectations prior to the meeting or event they may feel as though it’s not necessary. In order to ensure everyone is aware of your microphone and camera expectations, you must include a note in the meeting agenda or invitation prior to the event. Simply stating that “this is a camera on event” or ``we are asking that everyone leave their camera and microphone on to maximize engagement” may be all you need to do to encourage participants to turn on their camera or microphone.

  1. Educate participants on virtual backgrounds 

If participants don’t have their camera on, there may be a reason. They may not have access to a dedicated meeting space or have a background they may not deem necessary for work. Luckily, there are resources that help to eliminate this concern. Making sure participants can use or have access to a virtual background is a great way to make sure everyone feels comfortable enough to turn on their camera. 


There’s no need to single anyone out when broaching this subject. Simply attach a brief note in the meeting agenda or event invite that educates participants on the importance of leveraging a virtual background in addition to providing a step-by-step guide. 


  1. Reinstate the importance of body language and human-to-human connection 

Meeting virtually can be challenging, even more so if you aren’t able to pick up on ques or body language. If meeting or event participants tend to not turn their camera or microphone on, it may be because they don’t understand the importance. Letting participants know that it’s important to turn their cameras on as doing so helps you read their body language and determine whether or not they are in agreement may mean they are more inclined to turn their cameras on in the future. Letting participants know that turning their cameras on will also help wrap up conversations quicker is also important. 


  1. Kick the event off in small groups

Oftentimes participants don’t feel inclined to turn their cameras on if they feel lost in the crowd. Starting the event off small by breaking off into smaller groups is an excellent way to prompt engagement. In addition to breaking off into smaller groups, you can also kick things off with an ice breaker, piece of trivia, or fun question. 


  1. Educate participants on unique Zoom features

The dynamic of meeting had changed which can largely be attributed to the pandemic. Now that participants are meeting from home, they may not feel as comfortable appearing in front of the camera. Luckily, there are tons of unique features on Zoom that may help eliminate these anxieties. Take the Zoom beautify feature for example. If participants don’t feel comfortable appearing in front of the camera, they may want to consider leveraging the Zoom beautify feature. This way they can confidently join the meeting without feeling as though they have to put on makeup or change their appearance. 


  1. Provide a work from home stipend 

The shift from in-person to virtual work happened quickly. Many employees that were used to working from the office everyday were forced to work from home whether they had the proper setup or not. Despite the many benefits of remote work, there are still downfalls. Many employees don’t have access to a designated workspace in their homes and may not have the setup or tools they need to confidently appear on camera. 


If your employees are embracing a remote or hybrid model, it’s important that you provide them with a stipend that can be used to improve their remote work setup. They may need improved lighting, a new camera, or a different background. An improved setup may be just what they need to move forward with confidence. 


  1. Are you ready to implement these tips? 

In a virtual-first work environment, it's more important than ever to encourage participants to turn on their microphones and cameras. Where participants would have once gathered in person, it’s now the norm to meet virtually meaning appearing on camera is a must. When prompting participants to turn on their cameras and microphones, it’s important to understand their perspectives and recognize that they may have a reason for refraining from turning their camera or microphone on. Checking in prior to your next meeting or event and learning what their reasons may be will help you take a customized approach to sourcing a solution. 


Cameras on translates to engaged employees 

When your employees have their cameras on, it’s a sign of engagement. It’s important that your teammates understand that leveraging their cameras during team meetings or events allows them to bring their full presence to the table which makes it possible for them to connect with their teammates on a deeper level. Despite meeting virtually, leveraging our cameras and microphones makes it possible for us to observe body language and other expressions that may be occurring among meeting participants. In a remote first environment, it’s now more important than ever to leverage every tool at our disposal that helps us communicate and connect with our teammates and colleagues.

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