Many businesses today (especially those employing remote workers or serving international clients) use video conferencing to communicate and collaborate. Convenient and cost-effective, free video meetings bring numerous benefits to companies. And with the popularity of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems that incorporate video conferencing as a prominent collaboration feature, the technology has become even more accessible.
In order to have a good and productive video conference experience, though, there are several things you must do. Let’s take a look at some of these and be sure to keep them in mind on your next web meeting.
Before the call
- Check your bandwidth – make sure your video conference goes without a hitch by ensuring you have ample bandwidth. Video calls obviously consume more bandwidth than audio calls. Experts suggest you would need anywhere from 300 kbps (for simple video calling) to 2 Mbps (for HD calling) for one-to-one conversations. For video calls with more participants, you would need an additional 1 Mbps per participant for a more comfortable video conference.
- Check your equipment – among the things you need to check are your phone system (for the video conference functions), camera (for correct framing), microphone (for the speaking volume), and lighting (for proper illumination). Make sure all these are working properly to avoid any technical delays.
- Have a test conference call – test if everything is working by calling a co-worker before your conference.
- Dress appropriately – even if you’re conducting online meetings from home, don’t forget to dress to impress. Avoid wearing patterned or striped clothing as they may look jagged if your video quality isn’t good. Also, you might think wearing pants isn’t necessary. But you’ll never know if something comes up and you may need to stand, showing off a not-so professional look.
During the call
- Identify everyone at the beginning – introduce yourself and the other participants so you can address each other properly.
- Speak clearly – Speak clearly but avoid yelling. Enunciate your words so others can understand you as sometimes video may not transmit well. Also make sure to keep your points clear.
- Avoid eating, using your cellphone, or anything that would interrupt your meeting – be attentive and act just as how you would behave in a face-to-face meeting. If you must take notes, do it discreetly.
- If you aren’t talking, hit the mute button – if someone else is talking or doing a presentation, you can click the mute button to eliminate any potential background noise from your end. Just don’t forget to click it again when it’s your turn to speak.
After the call
- Thank the participants for their time – Leave the video conference courteously by thanking the participants. If you need to remind them for updates on something, be sure to do so.
Video conferencing, offered by most VoIP service providers, is a great solution businesses can use to address their communication and collaboration needs. But in order to get the most from it, it’s important that users prepare well just as how they would in an actual face-to-face meeting.