Everything you should know about video calls.

Video Calls And Conferences Are Part Of A New Normal In The Business World.

Very rarely does something change the way we live, work and play the way the most recent global pandemic has done.   A June 2021 report by Upwork shows that 56.85% of teams are working remotely at least part of the time and that 62% believe their workforce will be more remote than before Covid-19. With the increase in remote working comes an increase in video calls and conferences.

 There are dozens of video conference applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet that are hosted on cloud based servers that allow connection from anywhere.  Many business phone systems also come with this feature at no extra charge.  Regardless of the platform, they all work similarly.  You send an invitation with a link that allows others to join your call. 


Types of Video Calls

Did you know there are 2 different types of video calls? That’s right. There are video calls and webinars.

Video calls allow everyone to speak and be heard.  These are great to use for collaboration style meetings because they allow speakers to interact with each other. You can pick up on facial expressions and weigh in on important decisions or topics.   

Webinars allow only a few to speak and everyone else listens. These are great to use when for training purposes. This allows a small number of users to lead a discussion or training, and multiple users to listen and learn about the topic being discussed. 

Quick tips for moderators to make sure you have a successful video call.

1.    Test the call before the call. If the call is for a group, its best to open the room 5-10 minutes before to ensure everything is working well. Leave the room open so that others can join and ensure their side is working well.

2.    Before the call, find in your settings where you can mute users. Inevitably, there will be a caller who forgets to mute themselves. It’s best to know how to mute them before the issue arises so you can fix it quickly.

3.     Be sure to greet everyone as they come on. This helps them feel at ease but also makes sure there aren’t audio issues.

4.     Be sure to check the chat box. Don’t forget the users that are unable to speak for whatever reason. Checking the chat box allows them to still participate.

5.     Moderate well. Begin by presenting the agenda and then keep to it as best you can. At the end, be sure to wrap up the call with what you discussed and any action items that came up from the video call.

Quick tips for moderators of webinars:

1.     Test the call before the call. Sometime before the call occurs, log on, have others log on and make sure the controls work. Get familiar with the controls of the application you are using so that you know where the most important ones are and how to use them.

2.    Appoint an assistant moderator that will check the chatbox for questions. Often times when presenting, it’s difficult to watch multiple screens at once. It’s normal to have someone close by that will moderate the chat/question box so that you can focus on the presentation.

3.    Clean your background – this includes your workspace background and the clutter from whatever you are presenting. Clutter of any sort can distract users from the content of your presentation. Be sure to leave as few distractions as possible.

4.   Schedule time in the presentation for questions. Some have purposeful stops throughout the presentation for questions, and some leave time at the end. Regardless of which option you choose, tell the users ahead of time when to expect the questions will be responded to.

5.     Send a follow up email with the presentation to the attendees afterward. Many video chat programs give moderators a breakdown of who attended. Be sure to send the attendees a thank you email along with notes of things you covered or important things you want them to remember.

Video Quality issues got you down?

Don’t fret.  Here are some remedies to try and help you troubleshoot issues you may be having.

1.    Make sure you are on your strongest internet connection. – Sometimes your home or business internet is not as strong as 4G or 5G connections. Sometimes your firewall will throttle back a connection that is streaming.  Check out your bandwidth amounts and firewall settings to help choose the connection that is the strongest.

2.    Restart the program. Sometimes, just a simple log on and log off fixes the problem. 3. The bandwidth you purchase is shared across all of your device. You may need to turn other devices off to limit what is using your internet connection. Have your kids or others wait to use the internet until you are done with your call. Video chats can be bandwidth hogs.

3.    If all else fails, switch to audio only for the call, this requires much less bandwidth and will keep you moving forward instead of fighting with the technology.  Be sure to contact your help desk after the call to prevent future issues. 

Feedback/voice issues on a video call?

Here are a few ideas on how to fix the issues if they are on your end.

1.    Switch to your headset. This will eliminate any background noise and allow others to hear only you.

2.    Put yourself on mute. If you can’t alleviate the noise, put yourself on mute to make sure you aren’t the problem.

3.    Turn down the computer volume. If your volume is too loud, it can cause others to hear themselves. This is frustrating to all involved. Try to turn down your volume and see if that helps.

4.    Turn off speaker phone. Speaker phone will have the same effect as having your volume up too long. Switch to your phone handset to eliminate feedback.

Video calls and conferences are here to stay.  The technology to host or participate in them doesn’t have to be a burden.  If your organization needs help setting up conference rooms or enabling remote users to use these platforms, we can help.

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