Video Conferencing Made Easy: Webcam Tips and Tricks
Ever attended a video conference where things went a little less than smoothly? Embarrassment during a video conference is often a very expensive mistake to make, because people often don't realize that a video conference holds the same weight and importance as a conference where everyone shares the same room.
Kris Rangarajan, Director of Public Relations at Aver Information, compiled this list of six steps to running a flawless video conference to help businesses conduct better meetings. They include several excellent points that emphasize that the conference is a face-to-face meeting, which essentially boil down to three basic concepts: Practice, Ettiquette and Attention.
Practice means that users should always be familiar with the ins and outs of their video-conferencing system, be it through Skype or some other video VoIP carrier. This means setting up a “practice call” with a colleague beforehand, to make sure that starting and stopping a call is seamless, instead of fiddling around during valuable meeting time figuring out how to display the video properly. Use this time to also make sure that microphone and webcam equipment is functioning properly, instead of having to reschedule a meeting at the last minute.
Etiquette may seem like a strange reminder for a video conference, but eye contact is just as important in a video conference as it is in any other conference. It may be natural to look at the face of who you're talking to, but remember to look directly at the camera to actually maintain eye contact. It's also important to maintain appearances, and to dress as if you were meeting in person despite the fact that you're calling from the living room.
Paying attention to your surroundings is what ties everything together. Put the dog outside, silence the cell phone and clean up the background to keep distractions out of the conference. Try rearranging furniture and the camera position so that your body fills the whole frame of the video image. Make sure to give the other party your undivided attention, because checking email in the middle of a sentence is not only obvious, but rude.