Video conferencing is often mistaken for teleconferencing. But video conferencing is so much more than just teleconferencing with sound and video. These are the must-know do’s and don’t of video conferencing.
Do: Invest in a good camera. A higher-end camera gives you better clarity a more significant field of view. It has built-in audio capabilities that will save you from having to set up a mic separately or run an additional audio loop from your computer speakers into the camera headset jack (when using a single-point camera).
Do: Be prepared with a real plan before each meeting. Before the call, make sure you have a clear plan of what this call is about, where it fits within your timeline, and determine what everyone’s role will be and their responsibilities.
Do: Use video conferencing to break down communication barriers. Video conferencing increases your ability to interact with your audience, which can help build rapport and trust with them. It also makes it easier for them to see you, which helps confirm that they are talking to the right person on the other end of the line.
Do: Test your conference system ahead of time to ensure that audio and video quality is high. The last thing you want is to find out halfway through a call that your video conferencing experience was hindered due to poor quality or no connection whatsoever.
Do: Try to look into the camera (not a wall, large screen, or your notes) when you’re talking and make sure that your lighting is sufficient. The camera should show the emotion on your face, so be sure to maintain eye contact with the camera.
Don’t: Leave out proper lighting. A well-lit room with a white background is ideal for video conferencing. A dark room and dark suit, on the other hand, is a no-no for any video conference.
Don’t: Speculate about what your participants are thinking. Don’t assume their reactions or try to guess what they’re thinking. Instead of speculating, ask them about their thoughts by asking open-ended questions like “Can you share more about that?” or “What does that mean for us?” before going off on a tangent with your thoughts and opinions.
Don’t: Get caught up in the technology to the point that you forget you are holding a conference call with colleagues and not friends. If someone is taking too long to respond or having difficulty hearing, ask them if they can hear you and tell them how to adjust the volume on their computer. If they have an iPad or iPhone, check if they’ve muted it somehow. The person on the other end may be fixated on their screen rather than paying attention to your video conference.