7 Online Video Conferencing Tips

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

7 Online Video Conference Tips

Many people have used web conferencing services that allow you to call into an audio conference bridge and watch someone present on their computer screen.  But have you had a chance to experience multiple party online video conferencing?  Services such as Vonei Meeting allow a group of people (5, 10, +) to participate in conferences using real-time video, live audio, and other features such as chat, document sharing, and screen-sharing.  It is a great way to boost interactivity and collaboration of a team of people, and cut down on wasted meetings where everyone has the presenter on mute.  It is also a great tool for video interviews where the recruiter, candidate, hiring manager, and subject matter expert can all join the live video meeting.  Best of all you don’t have to go to a designated video conference room; you can attend right from your computer.  Here are 7 highly recommended tips to make your video meetings most effective:

1) Use a high quality webcam so you can better “see” who you are meeting with!  Our minimum recommendation is 1.3M pixel or higher.  VideoInterviewKits provides quality webcams starting under $20.  Keep in mind that when using video this also means that you shouldn’t be goofing off or working on something else.  And be sure you have combed your hair.  After all, people can see you!  Be sure to have good lighting on your face so you can be clearly seen by the other participants, and try to wear solid colors.  If you are using the service for video interviews be sure to dress as you would for an in-person interview (at least from the waist up).

2) Make sure you have closed down other computer applications that use a webcam, or those applications might not release the camera for your video meeting.  Point to point video chat services like Skype, iChat, and Vid need to be turned off prior to joining your multiple person video conference.

3) Use a video service that is compatible across various computer platforms and browsers.  What happens when people on your web conference are on Macs or Linux computers but the service only supports PCs?  Or if a meeting participant is using Safari or Firefox browsers and the service only supports Internet Explorer?  A good video enabled web conferencing service should work across all major computer platforms and browsers.  You may not know what system the other people on your meeting are using so your service needs to be able to support a variety of systems.

4) Use a video service that does not require you to download software.  Late meetings can be minimized by allowing participants to join right from a web page.

5) For best audio performance when using VoIP through your computer use a headset with an integrated microphone, or a USB speakerphone.  This is not always needed but with the millions of different ways a computer may be configured these days it is an easy way to ensure that everyone has clear and crisp audio.  A headset or a USB speakerphone ensures an overly sensitive built-in computer microphone does not pickup background noise, or the audio from the speakers, and create an echo.  Headsets and USB speakerphones ensure this is not a problem.

6) Have everyone join online a few minutes early for the scheduled meeting.  This will ensure the first few minutes of the meeting is not spent waiting for a participant to locate a webcam or charge their headset.  Note for Mac participants using the built in camera and mic – be sure your USB devices are selected for your meeting!

7) Be careful when you send Chat messages, and open up Private Chat when only one other person needs to hear from you.  Typing a chat message to the entire group that the instructor is an “idiot” is probably not the most appropriate thing to be typing in any event, but doubly so when the chat is seen by everyone.  The best web conferencing services offer Private Chat so you can keep such comments just between friends.  Or open multiple Private Chat sessions with different people.  Just be sure to type the right message to the right person or you can be in big trouble!

Online video conferences are a tremendous business tool, allowing face-to-face interaction while cutting travel cost, and recovering lost productivity of worker time spent traveling.  It is better for the environment than pollution associated with methods of travel.  Online video conferencing is a great tool for teleworkers, and allows virtual companies to be spread over the globe and see and talk with each other in real time while sharing documents.  A small company can appear global by using a good conferencing tool, and recruiters can cut down on travel costs by video interviewing job candidates.  We recommend the Vonei Meeting service which provides unlimited usage service plans starting under $40/month.

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