Video conferencing makes it easy to connect distant teams and talk to clients face to face. Kaltura partner VisoCon offers an easy way to incorporate video conferencing into your workflows.
by Andreas Kröpfl
Video conferencing is a huge trend, and it’s still growing. Organizations of all sizes are using video conferencing frequently for purposes ranging from sales calls to strategy meetings, team building to training. In today’s global economy, teams and clients are scattered all over the world – video conferencing tools allow them to meet as if they were in the same room.
Creating video meetings can be quite easy. For example, for Kaltura clients looking for a video conference solution, VisoCon offers eyeson, a video conferencing tool directly integrated in Kaltura’s MediaSpace Video Portal. But the most important key to running a successful video conference is to be well prepared.
Know your video conferencing tool well
Take your time and try the tool out in advance. Familiarize yourself with all of the provided features. Ideally, host a practice session or dry-run prior to your video meeting to work out any issues..
Let’s take a look at some of the critical areas to be aware of, using eyeson as an example:
- Learn the login process: Make sure you know how to set up a new session well before the first session you want to run. For example, for Kaltura clients, it is quite easy to run a video conference in Kaltura MediaSpace. Simply log in with your Kaltura account, click “Add New,” and select “eyeson videomeeting/webinar”.
- Familiarize yourself with the administration options: Practice how to schedule meetings and invite participants. With the aid of a calendar feature, video conferences can be planned in advance. To invite people, you can call up your contacts in social media including LinkedIn, Facebook and Xing, or you can use groups or phone call functions.
- Take advantage of the presentation features: Many calls involve sharing files. Learn the capabilities of your platform ahead of time, so you can make sure files are there when you need them. In eyeson, files and images can be uploaded as PDFs to be presented in the meeting, which can be done as soon as the video meeting is scheduled. Be aware that uploaded files are available for all video conferencing participants. If you just want to show something to the audience, you can use the feature screen casting. That way they can see it together with you, but won’t have access to it.
- Review the moderator feature: Make sure the person hosting the video conference knows how to control the video and presentation content (dynamically adding and removing participants, etc.). Encourage your host to practice in advance.
- Record and replay your session: Even if everything is well-planned and invitations have been sent in a timely fashion, sometimes key people can’t participate. Therefore, it’s always a great idea to record meetings so they can be shared and replayed any time later on-demand.
- Utilize the chat feature: During video conferences, all participants have the ability to use the chat functionality. This is an important feature, as significant facts such as web links, images, phone numbers, and technical instructions can be written down unambiguously for all to read. Make sure you take time to instruct participants on how and when to use the chat feature at the beginning of your meeting to ensure live participation during your session.
Other preparations for your video conference
Once you have scheduled a video conference and invited participants, further preparations should be made.
Check your equipment
Open the scheduled meeting and use the checkbox in the right corner to test your camera and microphone. Not every camera angle is advantageous and holding eye contact is often difficult in video conferences. Be sure that the camera is at eye-level with you, even if you have to raise the laptop higher for the video conference. Take your time and check your image in advance.
Pay attention to the background
If possible, sit in front of a blank wall. Clutter and busy backgrounds distract viewers. It is also smart to show the logo of your company in the background. Try to take a position so that no other people are visible behind you.
Adjust the lighting
You look best if the lightning is in front of you, ideally above you. If there is a window in front of you, go ahead and open the curtains so that the light shines on your face.
How to dress
Consider your audience when choosing how to dress. Regardless of whether you dress formally or casually, be aware that white clothes might glare,flashy jewelry might catch the light and patterns can be distracting.
If you take the time to properly prepare in advance, almost nothing can stop an engaging video conference experience!
Andreas Kröpfl spent nearly 10 years at Frequentis, a high-tech company that develops communication and information system for air traffic control, before founding VisoCon and developing eyeson, a video conferencing platform. He has a PhD. in Electrical Engineering from University of Graz. Feel free to contact him with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org