Cisco, Polycom Offer Tips on Conducting Effective Video Conferences

 
 
By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2012-12-30
 
 
 

Provide an Agenda

Give participants specific start and stop times for the meeting, and if you are going to share content during the meeting, be sure to email a backup of the content to participants before the meeting begins.

Provide an Agenda

Look for an Uncluttered Background

Keep a clean and uncluttered background, says Kelly FitzGerald, technical marketing engineer for Cisco's Collaboration Group. A busy background can be a distraction that looks messy and unprofessional.

Look for an Uncluttered Background

Check the Room Lighting

Check the lighting in the room to make sure it won't be an issue for others who are on the video conference. For example, direct light coming through windows in your room can hinder the experience of participants in other sites. If it's a problem, either adjust the system or close the window blinds.

Check the Room Lighting

Eliminate Background Noise

A noisy environment can make it hard to hear or be heard. If the noise can't be eliminated, make judicious use of the system's mute button, or use a handset or headset. If you do use a headset or handset, make sure not to yell into them.

Eliminate Background Noise

Speak in a Normal Tone

Even if background noise isn't a problem, use a normal tone and volume when speaking. People are going to hear you; there's no reason to shout.

Speak in a Normal Tone

Check the Endpoint Position

Whatever endpoint you're using for the video conference, make sure it's in a comfortable position for you.

Check the Endpoint Position

Adjust the Camera Position

You want to make sure that other participants have a good view of you. If your system has one, use the self-view feature to ensure that you are squarely in the center of the screen and people aren't seeing just the top of your head.

Adjust the Camera Position

Start With Introductions

Unless everyone participating in the video conference knows everyone else, Polycom officials suggest that you introduce yourself and everyone else at your site and encourage participants at other sites to do the same.

Start With Introductions

Make Eye Contact

Try to make eye contact with participants at other sites. If you continue looking at the monitor to see those at other sites rather than directly at the camera, it appears that you are avoiding eye contact.

Make Eye Contact

Limit Side Conversations

You'll want to limit these, according to Polycom officials. Like side conversations in onsite meetings when everyone is in the same room, they can be distracting.

Limit Side Conversations

Avoid Nervous Gestures

Playing with your hair and clothing or using excessive hand gestures also can be distracting to other participants.

Avoid Nervous Gestures

Mind the Microphones

The microphones for some endpoints and conference systems can be fairly sensitive. So avoid tapping pens or rustling near the microphones. Other participants will hear the noise.

Mind the Microphones

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