Video conferencing is the latest must have technology for any business, thanks to the fact that meeting online can save money, time and hassle. If you’ve not adopted it yet in your office though, you may be wondering if it’s right for you. What if you’re a small business, and only work locally? What if you don’t really see how meeting virtually can be more beneficial than meeting up in person? How can it help you?
Even if you feel like the technology isn’t suitable in your case, you may find that video conferencing can still benefit you and your business. Below are some tips and tricks to get the most out of video conferencing software. Why not try it out and see what it can do?
Test your equipment before starting a call
If you’ve experienced laggy, incomprehensible conference calls in the past, it was probably due to poor advance planning. Before you start a meeting, take a few moments to check that your camera and microphone are working, and set everything up ready to call your participants. It won’t take very long, and having a working video stream from the beginning will make your meeting run a whole lot smoother.
Prepare the room
As well as prepping your machines, prep the room itself. Make Use Of recommends optimising your lighting to make it easier for you to be seen on camera, and cleaning up the room of any usual office debris to make it look more clean and professional. First impressions count, and if you’re looking well presented in a clean and orderly room, you’ll be off to a flying start.
Set a timeline
Before starting your meeting, give all of your participants an agenda and timeline to keep the pace brisk and them involved. Keeping a meeting interactive is important, as you want your participants to stay involved and contribute useful ideas to the table. Also, when you’re wrapped up in presenting it can be easy to miss certain cues, such as yawning, that mean that anyone listening isn’t all that interested.
Share documents in real time
The great thing about some video conferencing services, such as the one provided by Blue Jeans, is that you’re able to share documents with your participants in real time. This can be a Godsend when you’re trying to convey important information. Learning is visual as well as auditory, and when you give the learners visual stimuli, they’re more likely to take information in and retain it. However, be sure not to bombard them with documents just because you can. Business Matters advises that having too many things on the screen at a time can make your participants lose focus.
Use the recording features provided
One of the great things about video conferencing is that you can set it up to record, allowing you to have a record of the meeting and everything that was said and shown in it. Firstly, it eliminates the need for a minute taker, and secondly, it means that if you ever need any information from a meeting, you can go back and watch it in real time, getting the information just as you did on the day. This can prove to be very useful if you forgot to jot down contact details or other important information at the time.
Take advantage of cloud services
More and more video conferencing providers are taking advantage of cloud-based services. What does this mean for your company? Well, firstly, it means that the software can be used anywhere, anytime, and that no matter where your participants are, they can all access and edit the same information in real time. Also, it means that as a business you’re saving on IT costs, as you’re not paying staff to maintain and run costly servers. Most video conferencing providers will do that on your behalf, so it’s one less thing to worry about.
Download the software on all your devices
One of the best things about video conferencing is that you can stay in touch, no matter where you are in the world. As this is the case, it makes sense to download the software onto every device possible. Most providers offer apps for iPhone and Android, as well as Windows and Mac so you can install it right onto your desktop. This way, you have the option to call in and check on your business no matter where you are, at no extra cost. As free, accessible wifi is becoming more and more widespread, it’ll just become easier and easier.
With all of these features and tips, you can use video conferencing software to its best advantage. Download it today and try it out, and you’ll soon find that staying in touch is simpler and easier than it’s ever been before.