Re-post article by Kristi Hines from http://redbooth.stfi.re/
Video conferencing is a powerful tool for businesses. You can use it to conduct in-house meetings, product demos, educational seminars, technical support, and so much more. But unfortunately, not every business is utilizing it as much as it should be. In this post, we’re going to look at five specific mistakes you business might be making with video conferencing, and how to fix them.
Mistake 1: Not Preparing Others for Video
Video conferencing sessions sometimes require a little more preparation than the average phone call, as people will want to be in the right setting for minimal distractions. Hence, you will want to make sure that all participants for an upcoming call know they will be on video.
For in-house meetings and meetings with remote employees, it’s as simple as letting them know that your company prefers video conferencing to voice chat to make everyone feel more connected. Using video conferencing can quickly become second nature when you’re doing it every day.
But for your customers, partners outside of the company, and others who may not be as accustomed to hopping on a video call, it’s helpful to let them know in advance. That way, they’ll have a chance to prepare and reserve a conference room (or straighten up their living room!).
Mistake 2: Choosing a Bad Setting
If you want people to focus on what you are saying during your video conference, you need to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Distractions can arise if you choose a bad setting for your video conference.
Ideally, you want to be a in a well-lit room with a solid background behind you, such as a wall or projector screen. If you have a busy background in the room you plan to video conference in (like those in an open office space would), you can invest in a backdrop. While it won’t help the noise, it will help with visual distractions.
You also want to make sure you are not backlit. A common mistake is to have a window behind where you are sitting. When video conferencing, if that window is not covered, your face will be dark while everything outside the window will be crystal clear.
For any lighting issues, you can invest in video conferencing lighting. They can be as simple as lights that sit on your desk to lights you install on your wall behind the camera or on your ceiling. (Check out some of Redbooth’s top picks for more videoconferencing tips and resources here.)
Mistake 3: Moving During the Video
Stability produces clear, high-definition video. Any form of shake is going to create a blurry image that distracts viewers from your message to what you are doing. If you must use a handheld device because you’re traveling, at least find a location where you can use a mobile device stand for your smartphone or tablet so that your device is stable.
This goes for your laptop as well. Any movement during your video conference is going to cause some distortion in the video. So be sure that you are in a good spot for the entire meeting before you get on camera.
Also, no matter what device you are using, make sure that your camera is straight in front of you as opposed to looking up at you. This will be the most flattering angle for your face.
Mistake 4: Relying on the Computer Speakers and Mic
While headsets are not the most fashionable devices, it’s best to use a headset when video conferencing as opposed to using your computer’s speakers and mic. For starters, using the computer speakers might create feedback in your video, as people will be able to hear you and what is projected from your speakers.
Another issue when using your computer’s default audio output and input is background noise. Headsets and external microphones will limit the amount of noise projected into the video.
There are lots of headset options to choose from beyond the ones you typically associate with telemarketers and customer support teams. Thanks to smartphones, you can invest in earbuds that come with a mic attached. You can also get bluetooth earpieces that connect to your computer. Or you can use microphones that sit on your desk with earbuds, like the Yeti.
If you plan on conducting video conferencing on a regular basis, you may want to invest in the type of professional equipment video podcasters use for the best video and audio.
Mistake 5: Not Utilizing Video Conferencing Enough
Once you have a great setup, you will want to utilize video conferencing as much as possible. Many businesses spend unnecessary time and money on travel in situations where a video conference could have been used instead. In the US, businesses spent $384 billion on business travel in a single year. For in-house meetings, video conferencing saves remote employees time by allowing them to attend a meeting “in-person” with the ability to go right back to work.
For customer meetings, video conferencing can save businesses from accumulating travel expenses. It allows businesses to get their message in front of potential customers faster, as no one is waiting to schedule a trip.
To ensure you are utilizing video conferencing as much as possible, just look your last month’s worth of meetings. Were there in-person meetings that could have been as effective with video? If so, make sure that going forward, video conferencing is considered first before travel.
Video conferencing does require a little more thought in terms of planning, scheduling, setup, and technology. But once you have everything in place, it’s a highly efficient and effective method of communicating.