With its power to link large numbers of people in virtual space with zero risk to health and safety, video conferencing is now more than ever proving its value to businesses, the world over. But to get the most out of your video conferencing, there are certain conditions you’ll need to ensure, and some best practices to follow. We’ll be looking at these recommendations, in this article.
Before Video Conferencing…
To make sure that everyone invited to the conference knows when it will happen and that it’s actually taking place, you should send out email or text messages prior to the event, giving all essential details. This should typically be done a day or two before the conference, to give attendees some time to prepare.
If you’re scheduling an impromptu meeting due to take place in a matter of hours or even minutes (depending on the level of urgency), you’ll need to use the real and near-real time tools of your business communications platform, to spread the word. This could include SMS or mobile app alerts, instant messaging, or phone calls.
You’ll need to create a backup communication plan, in case you have trouble connecting with remote participants. This might include using a mobile phone or speakerphone, or an online collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams.
Create An Appropriate Environment
Video conferencing is an audio-visual medium, so matters of sound and lighting are central to creating an environment where participants can extract the most value from a meeting. Consider the following:
- If you’ve set up a conference room, make sure that microphones are distributed so that they can pick up all the speakers.
- If participants are at a location with excessive background noise, have them mute their microphones if they’re not speaking.
- If you’re a conference participant, don’t position yourself so that a lighting source is directly behind you.
- Sit with your back to a wall, and if there are windows in the room, lower the shades.
- Wear neutral clothing, with solid colors — but avoid black, white, red, or striped clothing.
- Set up early, and make sure that your audio and video are working.
Use Appropriate Technology
At the very least, you’ll need a camera, microphone, and headphones or speakers. For video conferencing, a headset or ear buds are preferable, to avoid audio feedback and echo. Once the conference begins, mute your microphone when you’re not speaking, to avoid adding any background noise.
If you’re using a webcam, avoid awkward angles and position it at eye level. Using self-view mode, you can test the angle of your camera prior to a conference call.
With the video conferencing capabilities of modern business communications platforms, it’s possible to attend and participate in a meeting from your mobile phone. If you’re using a mobile device, keep it as steady as possible, and hold it out in front of you at eye level.
During the conference, look directly at the camera, and avoid looking down. Also resist the urge to fidget, or multi-task during the meeting.
Establish Ground Rules And Event Protocols
If you’re hosting a video conference with multiple presenters, get a copy of their presentations beforehand, just in case they have difficulties with sharing content from their end. You can ensure that all participants have equal access to content by sharing all of it within the video conferencing connection, and using online tools.
It’s often wise to appoint a meeting facilitator, who’s responsible for providing an agenda to the participants, and keeping the conference on track by encouraging attendees to get involved, and limiting side conversations or multitasking. At the start of the meeting, this person should also set out the verbal cues (raised hand, in-app alert, etc.) to indicate that a participant wishes to speak.
As a participant, you should follow all instructions in the video conferencing invitation, and take note of important supplementary information, such as a backup phone number in case you’re disconnected.
After Video Conferencing…
It’s a good idea to record the conference for participants to review, or to give anyone who was unable to attend an opportunity to view the discussion. If you are providing a transcript, let everyone know ahead of time that you’ll be recording the conference.
Transcripts can be made available as email attachments, or via the media streaming tools provided by your business communications platform or collaboration software.
net2phone offers an easy to use, feature-filled, video conferencing solution along with an all-inclusive business communications solution that includes FREE calling to over 40 countries.
net2phone provides you with everything you need to run your business communications successfully at scale. From robust voice features and powerful messaging tools to video conferencing, powerful analytics, and dashboards – net2phone has you covered.
If you’d like to know how net2phone’s business communications solutions can facilitate your video conferencing, contact one of the net2phone experts.