Looking and Feeling Good: Tips for Better Video Conferencing

Before you get on your next video conference call, check out these helpful resources for improving your video chat experience.

Video conferencing

This morning, I was part of a weekly meeting that included folks in their offices in the United States, Canada, Spain, and Germany — and I didn’t stop to think twice about the fact that four different countries were represented. Video conferencing is so much a part of our culture and day-to-day routine here at Redbooth that it feels completely natural.

Because video conferencing is integrated so seamlessly right in Redbooth, it takes just a few seconds to hop on a video call or schedule the next one.

It’s easy for anyone on the call to share what they’re working on, too, which always comes in handy. This morning, we heard that familiar phrase at least three times — “I’ll share my screen” — and immediately saw spreadsheets that we were able to study together in real time.

Whether you’re also a frequent user of Redbooth’s HD meetings feature or would like to start using it more, we’ve rounded up some of the top online resources and articles to make sure you get the most out of your experience.

Video conferencing: Looking good

6 Ways to Look Better While Video Chatting

Can you create your own “mini studio” with office supplies you have within 20 feet of your desk right now? Yahoo! Tech says yes! They talked to YouTube makeup artist Michelle Phan for her top tips on looking better while video chatting. See the difference her tips make with illustrated dos and don’ts. It’s one thing to recommend wearing a bright solid color — and another to see the difference it can make on video chat.

Fast Company’s Webcam Glam: 3 Easy Tricks to Look Polished on Video Chats

Fast Company focuses on 3 simple changes you can make to look more polished on video chats and illustrates each one with before-and-after photos. The article also draws on the author’s experience interviewing people over video chat. Try out Tip #1 at no cost at all — or if you’re ready to make an investment, consider Tip #3.

Video Conference Lighting Tips You Can Do at Home

If you’re a photography buff, you already know about lighting and color temperatures. But have you thought about applying that knowledge to your video chats? See how different types of lighting at home will affect what shows up on the screen and remind yourself of the difference between “key light” and “fill light.” This article from education site Lynda.com includes lots of examples of the author experimenting with different types of lighting. If you’ve never thought about which direction the window in your office faces, you will now! (Hint: North is best.)

Video conferencing: Feeling good

The Introvert Entrepreneur’s Tips & Tricks for Webcam Confidence

Are you comfortable being on camera? For some people, it can actually take a bit of getting used to. Introverts in particular may want to consider going the extra mile to make sure the people they’re speaking with can see that they’re focused and engaged.

Beth Buelow, the “Introvert Entrepreneur,” interviewed Nancy Ancowitz, author of Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead (link) — and she had some helpful tips for introverts.

“If you’re an introvert, you may tend to look away when you’re thinking. Be mindful of how it appears when you’re lost in thought in the fast pace of online video.”

However, you can also use some techniques with video conferencing that you can’t necessarily use in person.

For instance, Nancy points out that you can “stick Post-Its onto your computer monitor rather than keeping all of your talking points in your head” and shares step-by-step directions for a pre-video warmup to ensure that you’re ready to go.

9 Tips for Effective Online Meetings

Productivity501 describes 9 excellent tips to consider before your next video meeting. Depending on the type of technology, you may want to take author Mark Shead’s advice and reboot your computer well before the start of the meeting. And if you have a tendency to keep lots of apps open on your computer, quit out of the ones you won’t be using before you sign on to your video chat.

He talks about how appearing prepared is different in an online meeting:

“In real life, leaning over to look in your briefcase may not be a big deal, but if you disappear from the screen to get something, it can make you look like you didn’t do your prep work.”

In fact, the one tip in the list where we might recommend something different would be Tip #3: Follow with an Email Summary. With Redbooth, we will frequently create and assign tasks during the meeting itself, which means that action items are already defined and claimed before the meeting has even ended.

Emily Post’s Video Conferencing Tips

Does using modern technology mean that good etiquette has gone out of style? Not at all. As Emily Post says:

“Like any other convergence of people and new technology, considering etiquette guidelines will make video conferencing a productive and enjoyable experience.”

The post also includes a reminder that just one key person at a company can set the tone for a successful culture around video conferencing. At Redbooth, we’ve found that if you experience the benefits of video conferencing (or any kind of new software) and have a clear picture of how it can help your company, your encouragement and vision are powerful tools to get your colleagues excited as well.

Video conferencing: Redbooth resources

How To Set Up HD Video Conference Meetings

See the easy-to-use interface for setting up a video conference in Redbooth with this post on HD Meetings from Redbooth’s help center. Screenshots illustrate how you can schedule a video conference in Google Calendar or download the meeting file (for users of iCal and Outlook). You can even check out the settings panel and see how to test your settings before your next video conference starts — ensuring that you can hear and be heard.

Video conferencing is an integral part of Redbooth, and we’re so pleased to offer it as a part of a complete collaboration and communication solution. Redbooth’s Director of Communication Products, Rachel Kumar, explains: “Sometimes all you need is a quick face-to-face meeting to get your team on the same page. Our customers love how Redbooth’s HD Video Meetings make it easy to reach their coworkers, even when they’re half a world away.”

Collaborating with colleagues around the world? Don’t miss Remote Teams: Best Practices and Culture Lessons >>