Five things to watch out for when web conferencing

With the rise of web chats and video conferencing comes a new set of rules and protocols to be observed

Web conferencing and live video chat have been a revelation for modern businesses allowing remote workers to get involved in meetings and training across your offices from one location and encouraging real time collaboration on projects.

&M 31 Mar a

However, as with any new technology there are a few rules to learn if you want to avoid a web-chat disaster.

1. Background image
If you’re working from home and are calling into a meeting make sure that the view behind you is suitable. Get rid of any mess or unsuitable pictures. If you’ve got family or pets at home, make sure your door is shut as you don’t want a cat or toddler walking into your meeting.

Also, try and make sure you’re against a plain background and have the light on your face otherwise your colleagues might find it hard to see you.

2. Poor connection
For a good quality video conferencing connection you really need to have internet speed of at least 12 mbps otherwise you might struggle.

It’s also worth resetting your connection around 10 minutes before. If you are struggling with the speed, choose to go audio only.

3. Off screen guests
You might think you can see everyone in the room but there’s often blind spots you can’t see. At the start of the meeting ask everyone to introduce themselves.

Make sure that as soon as you’re connected you make it known that you’re online as sometimes it might not be apparent which could end in some awkward eavesdropping.

4. Tech fail
While most systems are now fairly straightforward to use, you’ll often get a situation when one of the attendees doesn’t know how to work it. If this is the case, call them and guide them through it.

If you can see they are having problems but they’re not mentioning it – for example their camera might not be pointing in the right place – do let them know and give them a hand.

If you think you might have problems, test-drive your equipment and programmes first so you know how to use them.&M 31Mar 2a

5. Mute – on or off?
If you’ve got multiple connections or there is a situation where one person will be doing most of the talking, it’s often recommended that other guests put their microphones on mute to cut out background noise and reduce the risk of feedback.

However, if the request has gone out for everyone to go mute, take a moment after to listen and check that all the attendees have actually pressed the button otherwise you’ll have interruptions throughout and could again get into trouble overhearing gossip.

 

Posted by Ashleigh Sharp

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