Tips for Effective Video Conferences

Before Your Video Call

  • Take time to experiment and practice with the equipment before your conference 
  • Learn how to use any accessories or peripherals, such as document cameras and DVD/VCRs
  • Arrange a test conference beforehand, either to another site in your company, or to an SKC test site.
  • Appoint a leader/facilitator for each site
  • Distribute any needed materials before the meeting

 

During Your Video Call 

  • Begin on time and stay focused on the goals of your meeting 
  • Introduce the conference participants, as you would in a face-to-face meeting 
  • Allow for a brief delay as each side speaks. Double your usual wait time after asking a question. 
  • Maintain eye contact by looking directly at the camera

 

Clothes & Lighting 

  • Close any drapes or blinds, as daylight may conflict with room lighting 
  • Light pastels & muted colors look best in video conferences
  • Avoid bright colored clothing, solid black or red, and busy patterns (ie checks or narrow stripes)
  • If you wear white, a jacket or sweater will improve contrast 
  • Avoid clothes that match the wall color 
  • Be aware of any jewelry that jingles, as the noise will be picked up by the microphone(s) 
  • Red lipstick and dark eye shadow are not ideal in video conferences

 

Speak & Act Naturally 

  • Use natural gestures when you speak, just as you would if you were in the same room 
  • Speak normally, and don’t shout. The mics are designed to pick up your voice at normal volumes. 
  • Ask questions and encourage participation by all conference attendees, near and far 
  • Talk a bit slower than normal to ensure you are heard clearly 
  • Avoid interrupting another speaker

 

Cameras & Microphones 

  • Position mics in the center of the table, and use additional mics in larger rooms 
  • Use mute, especially when moving the microphones 
  • Avoid rustling papers, tapping, and other distracting noises, especially near the mics 
  • Be aware of live microphones at all times. Even if you think you are muted, act as if you’re not 
  • Limit side conversations. The mics pick up even quiet conversations and whispering. 
  • Fill the screen with the people in the conference, rather than tables, chairs, walls or floor space 
  • Set and use your camera presets for quick, easy camera placement