Tag Archives: video conferencing
1984. Kidding. Sort of. True, there are times when the content isn’t visual, the group doesn’t need it, etc., etc., etc. But why are so many conference calls held when a web conference would be more appropriate?
This is the way we’ve always done it. We don’t have/have never used/don’t have time to learn/don’t have budget for the technology. Our people don’t know how to use/don’t want to know how to use/don’t appreciate technology. They’d still just dial in anyway so what’s the point?
And we used to use typewriters. Budgets get found. (And p.s. there are loads of free tools these days…) Old dogs learn new tricks. And some may dial in, but the point is, a simple tweak can turn your meeting on its ear. Put faces with names. Stop asking whether everyone has page 93 of the document in front of them. Launch a quick poll for feedback. Use written Q&A to unleash ideas from the shy quiet types who don’t generally speak on the call.
We recently helped a client move a recurring conference call to a web conference format. Not only did half the participants join via the web conference – on the first outing – but their post-conference feedback was overwhelmingly and extremely positive. Why not see if you can teach your old dogs a new trick? They might just surprise you.
People judge books by their covers. Fast Company offered a few good tips for cleaning up your cover in its light-hearted Webcam Glam piece. While avoiding nose hair and backlighting are great tips, here are a few more you might want to consider.
Make It Up
Whether you’re using the external camera Fast Company suggests or a high-quality internal one, image quality can be uncomfortably good. (Can you image Nixon/Kennedy in HD?) A little makeup magic will make a world of difference in what your audience sees and perceives.
Don’t Make It Up
You’ve planned your message, right? Winging it leads to likes, ums, ahs, as I was sayings and other fillers that detract from your message. Don’t make it up as you go. Make a plan, walk through it beforehand, and your audience will see a credible presenter.
You’ve taken the advice on stripes, colors and prints. You know whether suits or shirt sleeves are appropriate for your audience. Your attire is camera-ready. Before the show goes on, check the little details. If you have the choice of glasses or contacts, choose contacts; avoid glare and let your audience see you, not your frames. There’s nothing wrong with jewelry, unless it’s the wrong jewelry. Swing-y and sparkly pieces can create annoying reflections; dangly can be audibly jangly and disruptive. Err on the side of modesty and, when in doubt, remove it.
Reading Is Fundamental
But it’s fundamentally wrong in the case of a video conference. And don’t kid yourself – the audience can tell. You’re an expert on the topic and you’re using the medium to humanize the message; don’t undercut that effort by reading from a script. Talking points are fine, run-throughs are recommended; put them together and you’ll appear confident but not scripted.
Sit. Stay. Good Presenter.
Okay, nobody is asking you to sit with a biscuit on your nose for the duration, but consider your movements carefully. The first time I watched myself back on camera my head swiveled like I was at Wimbledon, my eyes flicked around the room like an auctioneer’s, my hands never stopped moving and I felt seasick. The camera amplifies action, so use smaller gestures less frequently (another place a run-through comes in handy!) than you would in real life and your audience will follow your message, not your movements.
Committed a video conferencing faux pas? Have another pet peeve? Tell us about it.
Marriott Hotels with the support of AT&T and Cisco are launching a new service called GoThere Virtual Meetings (www.gotherevirtualmeetings.com). It was the name that first caugh my attention –”Go There”? Why would anyone name a “Virtual Meeting” service “Go There”? Already intrigued, I watched the video (see below) and realized that not only is the name appropriate, I often use the same words to describe the difference between web conferencing and video conferencing. When trying to communicate the difference I typically say “you need to go to the video conference location”. As demonstrated in this video, you “GO” to the Marriott Hotel to participate in the TelePresence session. If you are lucky enough (meaning you have money) to have TelePresence at your company, you still need to leave your desk and go to the video conference room. Where as, web conferencing is about attending from “where you are”. As web conferencing providers, including AT&T Connect, add mobile phone support you attend a web conference from “anywhere”.
FYI: I did find this video a good example of Cisco TelePresence.
Read the Marriott announcement here: http://bit.ly/95dSg4
AT&T Connect version 8.8 has an “overhauled PC-based video conferencing system” that gives its users flexibility in video conferencing. This technology is “fully integrated with AT&T Connect. No special scheduling or IT preparations are required to activate video during web conferences.”
At Intellor, we see video conferencing as the wave of the future. Since we already provide pre-recorded video services to our clients, we are excited to move into live video streaming. Our setup will allow us to provide our clients with the highest quality video possible. AT&T 8.8 will automatically adjust the bandwidth for each individual so if someone isn’t able to handle the higher quality video streaming, it won’t effect the users who are able to. This means everyone gets the best video quality possible.
Have you ever done a video conference? If not I recommend you give it a try.
Learn more about the features of AT&T Connect v8.8: