Jonathan Trent has written a guest post for us on two of my favourite things: video conferencing and smart phones! Jonathan works as a writer and Internet marketing specialist for NextUC – hosted Microsoft Lync solutions. When not at work, Jonathan enjoys reading tech blogs, social networking, and playing the guitar.
For several years, it’s been obvious just how powerful and efficient of a tool video conferencing from a mobile phone could be in business, but until recently, there hasn’t been sufficient technology to make it a viable option. Smartphone performance in the past was often iffy as connection problems led to meetings filled with requests to repeat this sentence or that.
We’ve now reached a point, however, where mobile video conferencing can reliably be used in business communication. Still, there are some things of which you should be aware in order to have the most successful video conferencing sessions.
The Right Connection
While mobile speeds do continue to increase, if you want to be sure of a solid, reliable connection, use Wi-Fi whenever possible. This has at least two advantages. First, it will have a more consistent connection. Don’t be afraid to use your mobile network when necessary, but no matter how fast your 4G connection is, Wi-Fi will normally still result in fewer interruptions in the stream even at higher resolutions. Second, you won’t have to use up as much of your data plan if the meeting begins to run long.
The Right App
Don’t limit yourself to device specific apps. FaceTime may be a quality app, but unless you are absolutely positive that everyone else involved in the conference is an avid Apple user, you should consider some other, multi-platform options.
Video conferencing is supposed to drive productivity by joining users together over different geographical areas. You need to be inclusive of a variety of devices so the experience can be shared by as many people as possible. There are some device-agnostic solutions out there for the general public, like Skype and Google+ Hangouts, as well as some business video conferencing solutions when you need more robust controls and options.
The Right Etiquette
While video conferencing has been around for a while, for some reason many people forget some of the basics of proper etiquette during a call. It may simply come from using our phones as the camera and having to hold it up the entire conversation. Whatever the reason, there are some important things to remember to get the most out of your next video conference.
- Don’t move around. The view from moving handheld cameras can make people sick.
- Speak clearly and use a normal tone. You’ll be tempted to speak loudly and slowly, but you should trust your smartphone and app to pick up your conversational tone.
- Body language matters. Remember that the point of video conferencing is to be seen as well as heard.
- Find a quiet area that doesn’t produce many echoes, and mute when you’re not speaking. You should also avoid sunlight glare through windows.
- If you’re addressing someone, use their name so it’s clear that this is for them.
- Avoid dragging on the conversation. Check to make sure your point was made and understood and then move on. Don’t waste your data.
- Don’t just set the phone down when you aren’t involved with a portion of the conference. The view of your ceiling will be considered less than professional.
You may not have to be in the office to take part in an important conference, but you will need to connect with the most effective and professional way possible to successfully participate. Check your connection first and make sure your appearance is acceptable through your camera, and you can confidently sign into your next meeting with your own mobile device.