Videoconferencing has come a long way from when it was first envisioned as video telephony in the early 1900s. Although ideas of its conception came about as early as that time, it was centuries later before actual video telephony became real. Compared to how easy it is today to call someone to do a quick video call, videoconferences in the early days were done in special boxes called video-telephone booths. Today, however, videoconferencing is everywhere, and when in a company that hosts videoconferences almost every day, one should know what the best practices are in this medium.
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For professionals and businesses, it is important that the videoconference has a quality setup. There are videoconference systemsthat are made especially for big meetings with a lot of participants. Teleconference systems like this Cisco CTS-SX80-IP60-K9 TelePresence System SX80 codec are made to work for group videoconferences. The video output from end to end is 1080p at 60 Hz for high quality and high-definition video for all people on the call.
However, there will also be times when a videoconference will be between only two people. In that case, make sure that the webcam and microphone used during the call are of good quality, especially since you wouldn’t be talking in a loud voice to make your point. A quality audio conference telephone makes a good investment for your setup. Business phones such as Nortel networks phones are designed specifically for busy offices and their communication needs.
Use Conference Rooms Whenever Possible
As videoconferencing becomes a core component of unified communications within a company, it is important to give employees good areas for videoconferences. Conference rooms are great for big meetings, whether internally within the team or externally when talking with a client. For smaller meetings, it is still recommended to get into a well-lit room without much noise in the area. Conference rooms should be big enough to ensure that all participants are visible during the course of the meeting.
Use the Mute Button
Learn to use the mute button whenever necessary. If you are joining a videoconference in a crowded area, mute your microphone to avoid background noise during the call whenever you are not speaking. Even when in an area that allows you to be alone, practice muting your microphone whenever you are not speaking to instill that practice every time you attend a video call.
Be on Time—Better Yet, Be Early
The early bird practice for videoconferences rings true especially for the ones who called for the meeting. It is much better to be on the call earlier than the set time when possible. This will also help you prepare for the call if you are the set facilitator during the course of the videoconference.
Use Headsets or Microphones When Necessary
Using a headset or microphone during a videoconference is considered to be a good practice because it helps ensure that the calls go smoothly with everyone being able to hear one another clearly. There are headsets made especially for video calls that have echo and noise cancellation built into the microphones. A microphone for each participant may or may not be possible but getting a good-quality mic that doesn’t pick up a lot of noise is a great choice. Audio quality has as much impact on calls as the video quality, so make sure to use a headset or mic when available.
Have a Meeting Facilitator
There will always be a meeting facilitator in every videoconference. The facilitator will be in charge of leading the meeting and steering the conversation in the right direction without straying too far away from the topic being discussed. The facilitator helps establish the visual and audio cues during the course of the meeting by setting guidelines like raising one’s hand to be allowed to contribute to the topic at hand. The facilitator also helps keep everyone in line by limiting side conversations and driving the topic to help keep everyone focused.
Sharing the Meeting Content to Everyone
The meeting facilitator will be in charge of ensuring that everyone has the content or meeting agenda of the videoconference. The agenda is important in making sure that everyone knows what is being covered during the meeting. Everyone involved must also take time to read through or at least to be aware of what will be covered during the video call. Everyone is tasked to contribute during a videoconference even in a small way, hence the importance of meeting agendas.