When you’re talking to people through video conferencing, you should do more than just sit down in front of your computer and start talking. You need to make sure you’re environment is one that is suitable for having a video conference call with. This doesn’t mean you have to build a massive video conferencing room worth a few hundred thousand dollars. While these rooms offer you the crispest picture and help to make it seem to everyone they’re in the same room together, you can learn from the technology used in these rooms to create a more effective environment with what you can afford. Here are some tips to put you on the right track.
Make Sure the Lighting in the Room Is Right
The lighting in the room plays a huge part in how well the people on the other end will be able to see you. This is more than just making sure you’re not in the dark. You also want to make sure the light is not interfering with the camera’s ability to operate, according to Manager Tools. Most modern cameras automatically adjust to the light in the room. If there’s something wrong with the lighting in the room causing a focused light in the camera, it will cause your camera to adjust and the room will appear dark. Not even good software, like what Blue Jeans provides, can help if this happens.
Make adjustments to the windows and any direct lighting in the ceiling to make sure all light entering the camera is indirect light. You should also pay attention to any reflective surfaces. Make sure they are either not present, or that they are not going to have an effect on the lighting within the room. Conventional wisdom is to have a blank wall behind you for a video conference of any kind.
Make Your Room Quiet
The room you’re using for video conferencing should be as quiet as possible, according to She Knows. Any additional sounds will cause your voice to get drowned out. Things like fans, or machinery should never be present in any room you’re having a video conference in. While software from companies like Blue Jeans help to isolate sound, they cannot do anything about white noise that completely masks your own voice. If you have a dedicated room just for video conferencing, this will help. If not, make sure you have a sign outside the door letting others know there is a video conference in session and to be quiet.
Stray sounds from outside the room can be distracting and they can cause you to appear less professional in the process. Set all cell phones to silent (no vibrate) if they cannot be turned off altogether. If at all possible, hang up noise reduction boards to the walls. These will help to reduce outside sounds and prevent echoes.
When you’re on a video conference call, you want for the person on the other end of the line to be your one and only focus, according to Inc. Make sure computers are not allowed into the room, unless they’re being used for the video conference call. Televisions, radios and anything else that could detract attention from the call should not be allowed in the room. In fact, if there’s a possibility of having a room without a window in it, this is a good call. Things happen outside of the room all the time that could cause those people with a short attention span to constantly look away. The last thing you want to do is to appear to the person on the other end as if you’re uninterested in any way.
Make Sure There Are No Internet Problems
Certain environments can cause a slowdown in your Internet service. If your computer is not hard wired to the Internet, you may experience problems with your service. You should make sure your Internet connection is going to work well in the environment you are choosing, according to The Wall Street Journal. The best way to test your connection is to simply make a video conference call. If the call works well and you do not encounter problems, you’re ready to go. If you’re experiencing any kind of problems, you might want to see about boosting the signal to the room or running an Internet cable into the room for a hard connection.
The best connections are close to the routers. If you can set up the room just for video conferences, you can put a router in the room and have it connected to the screen in the room. This way, you’ll never have to worry about any Internet issues and you’ll also have a dedicated screen just for the use of having video conferences.