Video conferencing tips to help you look and sound your best
Before the video conference
Before the video conference begins, you need to consider the:
Appearance is everything. Be cognizant of your choice of clothing.
- Blues and greens work well. Pastels and dark or neutral colors are preferable.
- Avoid bright shiny jewelry as it can reflect light or create a glare.
- Avoid wearing clothing with very bright or detailed patterns, which may be distracting on screen.
- Avoid sharp contrasting colors such as black and white together. When you move about it can cause the focus to oscillate and destroy the picture clarity.
- Avoid the colors red and white. These colors tend to bleed on the screen and reduce clarity of image.
Prior to participating in a video conference, you want to make sure you:
- Familiarize yourself with the equipment so you feel completely comfortable operating it.
- Create camera presets so you can change camera positions often, resulting in more interesting, more active meetings.
To prepare for a video conference, you should confirm those participating in the meeting and select a chairperson from the lead site, as well as a leader for each additional site. You should also distribute meeting materials to each participant. Be sure to include the following in the materials:
- Clearly stated objectives
- A prioritized agenda (in case the meeting runs longer than you originally anticipated)
- Helpful visuals and graphics
- Name tents designed to identify participants and/or locations — these can be purchased from any office supply store
It is important to set up the video conferencing environment correctly. Prior to participating in a video conference you should follow the steps outlined below.
- Close the blinds.
- Verify that overhead lights and/or reflections are not in the camera’s view.
- Center the muted microphone on the conference room table.
Note: Waiting until the video conference begins to put the microphone on the table can cause disturbance at the distant (far) end(s), as well as audio problems on your (near) end.
- Ensure your banner is in place (if you have one).
Note: Just remember to remove the banner and place the camera on the participant(s) once the video conference begins.
- Make sure someone is in the room for roll call.
As the video conference begins
Follow these steps to ensure the meeting gets started “on the right foot.”
- Introduce yourself.
- Clearly state the meeting objectives and your agenda.
- Conduct a roll call for each location.
- Ask all meeting participants to introduce themselves.
- Relax and be yourself by:
- Imagining the meeting participants are sitting directly across from you.
- Speaking clearly and naturally.
During the video conference
Keep the following tips in mind during the video conference.
- There is a slight delay between the time an individual speaks and the time you hear what he or she is saying. Therefore, you should allow the onscreen speaker to finish talking before you respond. Conversely, when you are finished speaking, you should pause to allow others to comment. Double-talking can cause rapid switching between sites.
- Keep your system on mute unless you are speaking. Using the mute button prevents sites from switching unnecessarily during a voice-activated video conference. Just remember to unmute your microphone before you begin speaking.
- As a courtesy, you should state your name, organization, and location before speaking.
- Assume you are always on camera, even when not speaking
- Be considerate when your microphone is not muted. Do not:
- Shuffle paper
- Tap your fingers
- Click your pen
- Carry on side conversations
- If you display visuals, remember to switch the camera back when you resume discussion.
- Alert the other parties before sending graphics, as you do not want multiple meeting participants sending graphics simultaneously.
- Encourage participation by asking questions.
After the video conference
After the video conference is over, direct participants to leave the room the way it was set up when they arrived, ensuring the system is accessible and ready for another meeting.
Video conferences — when conducted correctly — can be enormously beneficial to your organization’s image and bottom line. If you have questions regarding the use of video in your organization, call us at 1-800-224-7083, or click here to have an IVCi Representative contact you.