Before you begin to have a meeting it’s important to ensure that all equipment is running smoothly and that all preparations have been done prior to a meeting not during a meeting.

To assist your planning for a successful video conference, read through these tips:

Before you begin to plan a video conference its crucial to have a knowledge of:

  • How to establish connections

  • How to accept, and call out from a video conferencing unit

  • How to operate the conferencing equipment

  • Be familiar of who you may contact (Help Desk / Technical Help) should you require technical assistance.

  • Most importantly, have a list of telephone numbers for each of the conference locations.

 

Prior to the meeting:

  • Allocate enough time prior to the meeting starting to connect to the necessary connections (telephone & video connections).

  • To all those participating in the video conference, advise them that they will be required to call into the video bridge 10-15 minutes prior to the conference. This will allow you to identify if there are any issues that need to be attended to and can be fixed prior to the conference beginning.

  • Ensure that all cameras have been set up correctly, position the cameras in specific locations should you be needing to display elements (Whiteboards, the tables where each member will be seated). If you are needing to display a whiteboard/graphic, use an auxiliary camera to be able to display the graphics/whiteboard, ensure that it will switch back to the main camera once the topic has changed.

  • Make sure that all microphones are functional,  prior to any calls being made for the conference, make sure that each microphone is placed correctly.

  • Lighting can make a big  impact on the video quality, make sure that you close all blinds/curtains. Provide good lighting for the room.

  • If there are any air condition systems running or fans in the background, rather turn them off, as the microphones will pick sounds from around the room

  • If there is any information that will be shared between all the participants, communicate  prior to the meeting by sharing the information with the participants advising that they will need this information for the conference.

 

Whilst the meeting is taking place.

  • Once all the participants have established a connection and are connected to the meeting, introduce yourself to all the participants, and as a friendly gesture introduce each participant by name.

  • As mentioned in the above point in terms of introducing all the participants by name, if there are direct questions, quote the participant by name before you state your question.

  • Many of the video conferencing systems have been installed with  a voice activating  feature, which will automatically switch the camera to the participant speaking. Before you do state your comment or question, calmly and clearly state your name and your comment, if you speak calmly and clearly it allows the camera to focus on the speaker.  To avoid any confusion, allow the participant to finish speaking first before you speak, you don’t want the participants to become confused if you interrupt.To avoid any interruptions occurring make sure that you request all participants to mute their microphones when not speaking.

  • If you are making a international conference call, or the connection is slow, be prepared to experience a transition delay . Once each person has finished speaking allow a pause for a few seconds in case the participants message is still coming through.

  • Microphones can pick up virtually any small noises. Make sure that you are not clicking your pen, shuffling paper, covering the microphone with your hand or even tapping your fingers,