One of the biggest challenges for new remote conferencing users is getting confidence in using the technology.
To make sure you become a video-conferencing believer, here are some common pitfalls to watch out for.
1. Avoid Having Your Recipients Join Late to the Web Meeting.
Nothing kills a web meeting faster than having it false-start before it ever even gets going. A good web conferencing team should have all their technology sorted out beforehand and know exactly how to get each attendee logged on quickly, easily, and successfully.
If people in the meeting room have to wait for one individual, they’re already losing focus on what the meeting is about and likely starting to tune out the agenda. Make sure to send out a calendar reminder, so everyone is on time and ready.
2. Prevent signal loss in the middle of a meeting.
Once the meeting gets going, connection plays a huge role in its overall effectiveness. Make sure clients who are logged on do not become reduced to frozen pictures on a screen, or suffer from audio distortion halfway through, which will be distracting to the rest of the group.
A couple of trial runs using all the technology involved can pay dividends when it’s time for the real thing. Practice makes perfect, and that applies to web conferencing as well. Make sure all cable hookups and connections are secure and that the internet and WiFi connections are strong enough to support the session. You should also test your internet speed to make sure you have enough bandwidth to run an online meeting. You can find out your internet speed by typing in “internet speed test” in the Google search box.
3. Don’t rely on standard fluorescent lighting for video conferencing.
According to Aragon Research, up to 50% of conference rooms will be video enabled by 2020 .
These pre-planned video rooms will surely include lighting that looks great on camera, but for conference rooms today, camera-friendly lighting was just never a part of the initial plan. Remember that the person on the other end of the video needs to see everyone well-illuminated, and not washed out by overbearing lights or masked in drop shadows by sun-facing windows. Experiment with additional indirect lighting techniques, so that everyone is clearly visible.
4. Be strategic with microphone placement and room acoustics.
Make sure to position mics far enough away from speakers so voices don’t become too “boomy,” but not so far away that they can’t pick up the more soft-spoken. Don’t use rooms that have a lot of reflective surfaces, like bathrooms or hallways, because the sound will reverberate all around the room. If you can clap your hands and hear a distinct echo, the room is too reflective.
Forbes reports that during presentations, more than half of the message is conveyed visually through facial expressions and body language, while 37% is interpreted through tone of voice, and 8% comes across in actual words spoken .
Audio then, comprises almost half of a web conference’s total impact, and the audio needs to be professional, clear, and easily heard by all participants for a meeting to be deemed successful.
5. Try not to fumble with camera movements.
Many web conference cameras are controlled via joystick or web GUI, and it’s vital that the person handling the camera be familiar with the camera’s movements. Any pans and tilts should be kept to a minimum to avoid distractions, and presets should be dialed in before the meeting starts to make quick, smooth, and accurate transitions.
A study by Cisco surveying young Millennials in the workforce found that 87% of young respondents prefer to work for a more “video-enabled” organization, and 75% said they will not settle for “low-quality” video .
6. Plan ahead to avoid unexpected intrusions and interruptions during the web conference.
If you’re teleconferencing from home or working in a pre-planned video conference room, just remember to lock any doors and post signs saying a video conference is taking place, that way unlikely guests won’t accidentally come in and interrupt the meeting. Also, remember to silence mobile phones during the meeting.
As the workplace blends into more personal settings, it’s important to keep video web conferences as professional as possible, no matter the location.
The trend toward work mobility and working from home is only growing, with 80% to 90% of the US workforce saying they’d like to telework for at least part of their schedule .
7. Act professionally on camera.
Stay attentive throughout the meeting just as if it were an actual face-to-face dialog, and you’re sure to see a noticeable improvement in communication quality. Also, keep focused on the speaker during a web meeting, because eyes are very visible on a video feed and people will notice if you’ve clicked to a web browser and are scrolling for the latest shopping deals or movie tickets.
75% of surveyed organizations plan on utilizing mobile web conferencing in the near future , and it’s likely that companies will now use remote video meetings more even after the pandemic rather than conferencing rooms.
Whether you’re having a video conference in a remote setting or in a conference room, remember to hold off on any food until after the meeting. Even though the group can’t smell the food, they don’t want to watch or hear anybody chewing.