The world is currently in a state where most professionals can only communicate with one another through video conference calls.
If you’re working in this kind of environment, there’s a high probability that this is your first time relying this heavily on such software. And there is an array of challenges.
Now, getting the most out of your video meetings with your team and clients has never been so vital. If you’re unfamiliar with what goes into making these conferences outstanding, read below, for some viable and actionable suggestions.
How to do outstanding video conference calls:
- Using a reliable video conference call software
- Choosing the right camera
- Enhancing your lighting
- Optimizing your sound
- Timing your meetings correctly
- Setting a professional looking background
Using a reliable video conference call software
Although you might have been use random free video conference call software before, now is critical that you choose one that is consistently reliable and offers all the functionalities that you need in the new circumstances, like sharing your screen to present your work, or explain something complex to clients or team members, record the call to be able to document it better and share the outcome with others or having video calls with a higher number of people, for example.
To facilitate the assessment of the best video conference system in your particular case we’ve written a guide going through the top video conference software free versions characteristics, as well as pros and cons, taking into consideration the additional functionalities that the top tool in the markets, like Zoom, GoToMeeting, UberConference, Join.me and Whereby, are giving to customers during Coronavirus.
Choosing the Right Camera
Yes, you’ll want to utilize every savvy trick to try to get the best video quality for your conferences and meetings with your team. Still, all the techniques in the world mean nothing without a camera that’s up to the challenge.
So, if you’re going to be running video conferences, here’s what you need in a camera:
- You’ll want a 720-pixel video conferencing camera. It’s the minimum resolution for a high-definition presentation. 1080p offers an even sharper image, but 720p is most common for a video conferencing camera.
- A wide-angle lens allows remote meeting participants to capture the best viewing angle.
- All-in-one video-conferencing cameras provide audio and speakers. This feature makes the setup process more seamless instead of having to worry about separate setups.
Now you know what to look for in a camera. Still, we’re guessing that you don’t want to spend hours upon hours sifting through products.
So, here’s a list of some of the most cost-effective Webcams on the market.
Enhance Your Lighting
During your video conference calls, quality lighting is integral for the following reasons:
- Illuminates your facial expression
- Reduces distractions
- Renders realistic colors
- Gives you the highest quality video
All those factors together help ensure that your team or clients are 100% engaged in the video conference.
But what kind of techniques will ensure the most optimal lighting for your video conference?
First and foremost, you should sit facing a light-source because facing your back to a window or lamp will give a harsh silhouette effect. Also, make sure you’re getting light from natural places, namely through your window.
Furthermore, if possible, use some form of a lampshade or another diffuser to make directional light softer.
And it’s integral that you balance the amount of light being used during your conference calls. There shouldn’t be too little or too much.
Plus, bright colored walls and tables (preferably white) are a must, as they reflect light, whereas darker colors absorb it.
Optimize Your Sound
There’s nothing worse than a video conference with your clients where they can’t hear you due to choppy sound quality. Hearing half of every sentence just won’t do during crucial workplace communications.
Here’s what we suggest ensuring that your audio quality is optimized for your video conferences:
- Right now, in the heat of COVID-19, you’re at home with your family. They all might be using the WIFI. These connections can’t be overcrowded, as this could lead to choppy sound, so avoid any heavy usage of the Internet connection while you’re doing your video calls, and if possible, connect to the ethernet directly for a more reliable Internet connection.
- Avoid using a smartphone at all costs, as they just don’t hold up when it comes to sound quality. However, if you’re forced to use your phone, do so in the quietest possible space.
- Keep a healthy distance from your microphone. If you’re too close, you’ll produce loud popping sounds whenever you say ‘p’ or ‘b.’ Conversely, if you’re too far, nobody will be able to hear you on the other end. Adjust your distance before you conference and pay attention to the sounds out of your speaker, making sure it’s clear. Lastly, keep your headphone mic to the side of your mouth instead of right in front.
- Try to do the conference calls in a quiet, isolated space, to avoid any noises, especially if you have your family and kids also at home. If it’s not possible because you don’t have a separate home office, use Krisp to mute any background noise.
- Use a good quality microphone, to ensure that your sound is always crisp and clear, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Check out this list of cost-effective mics.
Timing Your Meetings Correctly
Your video conferences could be of exceptional quality in both visual and audio-centric capacities. But none of that matters if you’re running these meetings at the wrong time.
Beyond that, even if you choose the right time to hold your video conferences, if they go for too long, you’ll lose your team’s attention. Every minute is 100% valuable, as your team and clients have their own schedule. Ambling for any amount of time is showing them that you aren’t being considerate of everybody else’s responsibilities.
Universally, 10am is seen as the best time to run a conference call.
Given the nature of COVID-19, scheduling video meetings is a bit more complicated, as you’ll need to rely on these conferences more frequently.
Meaning, you must ensure that these meetings are kept short and lean. In fact, everybody’s attention tends to wane after 30 minutes. Since you’ll probably be conferencing every day, consider keeping these interactions as short as 15 minutes.
Establish that everyone must show up on time because you can’t waver from the agenda.
Setting a Professional looking Background
If you don’t have a separate room as a home office and you need to work from the living room, for example, you might not have the most professional backdrop for your video conferences with your team and clients.
However, if you use conferencing software such as Zoom, it’s possible to choose a virtual background for your video conferences, for example: conference room, contemporary office, work desk, workroom, conference table, office, cubicle, desk.. or even an image of yours!
Find something that fits the image you’re trying to get across and the vibe you’re trying to create with your team or clients.
If you’re using a video conference software that doesn’t offer to choose an image as a background, then test which area of your home can provide a professional looking background, where nobody will be walking by when you’re having the calls.
With these actionable tips now in your toolkit, you’ll be able to host outstanding video conferences with your team and clients.
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