Six Steps to Great Video Conferences

With the COVID-19 pandemic taking the world by storm, many organizations and teams are finding it extremely difficult to cope with increasing workloads and staying connected.

That’s why professionals all over the world are embracing video conferencing as they work-from-home. While this is a great way to maintain communication and teamwork, most of us who are not used to relying on it experience a number of technical issues that make video conferencing a bit of a headache.  

The frustration that comes with video conferencing might be quite brief, but when you pile onto days and days of meetings, it is bound to take a toll, and result in a lot of wasted time. There are a number of things that we can do to ease the transition and avoid many common technical glitches.

1. Expect Connectivity Issues 

The most frustrating part of video conferencing has to be the constant fluctuation due to bandwidth issues. Often you will see a lagging video and spotty or no audio.

A great way to be prepared is to run a speed test using something like www.speedtest.net, to make sure you have good enough speed to conduct an uninterrupted meeting. Another way to deal with this is to connect to video and audio separately by signing in from your phone for audio. That way you can hear clearly, even if your video lags. 

Considering how temperamental Wi-Fi can be, it is always better to use an ethernet cable whenever possible. Not only does it save time troubleshooting your wireless connection, it makes video conferences a less frustrating start to the day.

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There are a number of things that we can do to ease the transition and avoid many common technical glitches.

Six Steps to Great Video Conferences

2. Use Good Equipment

Make sure you use compatible and working headphones and mic sets to connect to a call. Ensure the software buffers well enough for you to continue meetings even if the speed is sometimes less than the optimal.

It also helps to constantly update both your hardware and software for optimum performance. In addition, replace low resolution cameras, mics and speakers with poor volume, to avoid a blurry video and scratchy sounds. Invest in a good set of noise cancelling headphones if you can. In case something goes wrong, make sure you have a Plan B to fall back on.

 

3. Difficulty with Integration

With most video conferencing apps providing seamless integration across devices, you may not know how a platform streams on different devices. Make sure you conduct a good trial run with the working of the app across all platforms before the meetings pile on.  

That way, you won’t be frustrated when you have to switch from one device to another, as you will be well aware if it’s working. A detailed checking of system performance will help you figure out if the application is compatible with your device, allowing you to get the required IT support to set it up.

Also, make sure that you sync with existing applications, like calendar, transfer of files, messages. This will streamline your process and allow you to do more during the conference or standup.

 

4. Update Your Software

It may not need to be said, but it’s worth saying: Make sure that the latest software version is present on all your devices.

I know, old advice but it’s very important.

Keeping software updated reduces the probability of bugs and could avoid a lot of problems that recur. You could even use a system to monitor constant glitches and immediately alert the support team. This could ensure that you always have the most recent patches and updates without having to search them out yourself.

 

5. Address Security Issues

While a strong password is obviously the first line of defense, it also helps to make sure that the security protocols that you have in place are in line with the standards.

Make sure that security patches and updates make use of good encryption technology, even the video conferencing software that you use. This could prevent the leak of sensitive information, and ensure that your virtual meetings are completely foolproof.

 

6. Screen Sharing

Make sure you have your screen sharing options figured out so that you don’t have to switch multiple times. Ensure that you know if you want to share the whole screen, or just a single application on your screen.

Before the meeting, figure out which option does what, since this can save time that is wasted in switching screens manually using multiple options during the course of the meeting.

 

Other Simple Steps to Have a Productive Meeting

There are a few other key points, like good lighting, and a noise-free environment to help your meeting be efficient. In addition, make sure that questions are directed at particular people in order to avoid the multiple answers and voices that could drown out valid points.

Also, make sure that you mute and unmute at the right time, and avoid the time gap between the two. This could also save a lot of time. Make sure all participants are a part of the conference before starting.

All these steps together could make the next virtual meeting something to look forward to.

 

You’re Ready to Start A Successful Meeting

Video conferencing and virtual meetings are here to stay for the foreseeable future, with the COVID-19 pandemic looming over our heads.

With all these key pointers in mind, you shouldn’t have any major technical glitches in your next video conferencing. This would give you productive meetings and get a lot done. In addition, it takes away the hesitations people have while joining a video conferencing.

Virtual meetings need not be as much of a headache as they are made to be, and could give the team a good sense of connectivity. This could allow people to collaborate and keep up with the progress of each member on the team, knowing who to stay in contact with and for what.  

So, go ahead and have a great virtual meeting, and cast away those inhibitions.

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