Joining a video conference for the first time?

We all love our quick 1-on-1 video conference calls from the desk with information provided just in time, but if you are participating in a scheduled meeting with the goals to exchange information quickly and progress to a common goal in an effective and mature manner you should consider some of the following guidelines.

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Better not eat nor drink during a video conference

Everyone is busy nowadays and wants to invest time as efficient as possible, however consuming your lunch during a video conference might not be the best idea due to low aesthetics as well as the fact that the microphone will most likely amplify all the sounds that you would rather not want others to hear. This is especially the case for participants joining with a headset. Telepresence restaurants such as Fleming’s the Steakhouse in the United States or Haidilao the Hotpot restaurant chain in China are of course an exception but to avoid drooling, all sites should be in such a venue.

Introduce everyone

After all participants have joined the host should introduce any individuals that might be not acquainted with everyone yet. This prevents participants from being confused about people they might have exchanged emails with but have never seen face-to-face.

Remain within camera view

Before you are joining your video conference you should check if the camera is set up properly and if not adjust it to fit. You should not see feet under a table nor should you have too much headroom above the individuals. If others are joining your room as well you should zoom out and re-adjust to make sure everyone is seen clearly – after all this is the purpose of having a video conference.

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Mute yourself if you are not speaking for long periods

If your meeting is set up in a structured way and follows an agenda you don’t need to have your microphone active all the time. If you mute it while nobody in your room is talking you are reducing unwanted noise such as the air-con, someone sorting their documents and similar sources of disturbance. You can keep your remote control near in case you want to quickly say something but in general you will notice a more clear communication experience if everyone who is not talking, has their microphone muted. Even though your room is on mute, you should not talk with other participants within your room even if it is just a quick comment. This will most likely distract the speaker and add confusion to the communication flow.

Talk slowly and anticipatory

Video conference and immersive Telepresence technology is at a very mature state, however it can still happen that someone finishes his sentence but have not yet finished his speech. So talk calm and wait for the speaker to finish and don’t talk over each other. If you happen to have talked someone over, quickly apologise and ask the speaker to carry on in order to continue the conversation in a structured way.

<Your advice here>

If you have a great advice for participating in or hosting a video conference, let us know in the comment box below. We are looking forward to hear your great ideas!


 

 Video: Top 10 Video Conference Bloopers by Karen Boosalis

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfu4ZO91zk0]

This post is also available in: German