Video Conferencing Best Practices Video conferencing technology has come a long way. It is now incredibly easy to join a multiparty call from your smartphone or tablet and connect with your team in crystal-clear HD even when they are located across the globe. But like any technology, there are still human and environmental elements that can affect the success of a call. Whether you’re joining your team’s weekly standup or meeting with a job candidate for the first time, here are a few best practices to ensure that your video call is as effective and productive as possible: 1. Use a Headset in Crowded Spaces While you can meet through video anytime at any place, sometimes life’s distractions can get in the way. Your laptop’s built-in microphone isn’t designed with the advanced echo cancellation and background noise suppression used in your conference room’s Lifesize® Phone™ HD. Wearing a headset in noisy, crowded spaces can virtually eliminate distracting echoes and help other participants hear you more clearly. In the same way that you’d go to a quiet room for a phone call, make sure that the virtual room you use for a video call is equally quiet so you (and the other participants) can focus on what matters most: the meeting. 2. Mute When You’re Not Speaking If you’re in a loud area and you don’t have access to a headset, one best practice is to mute yourself when you are not speaking (especially if you are on a call with more than two participants). This will significantly reduce background noise for everyone on the call. The Lifesize App has a built-in mute toggle switch that lets you mute your audio and your video if you need to go unseen. 3. Avoid Window Backdrops Windows are wonderful for adding natural light to your office, but on a video call, they can negatively impact the quality by giving you a harsh silhouette effect. Whenever possible, try sitting with your back to a wall rather than a window or try lowering the shades. Modern video systems like the Lifesize® Icon™ 450 are designed for lowlight conditions and will automatically adjust the frame and lighting for you and your shadows. The sun might not get the memo. 4. A Heads-Up Always Helps Even though the Lifesize App shows participants when a recording starts, it’s a good practice to let everyone know before you start a recording. Pro tip: Recorded meetings usually contain fewer side conversations and tend to progress through the agenda more smoothly. Just be sure to share the recording with anyone who attended when you send out the meeting wrap-up. 5. Don’t Forget Your Far-End Etiquette While video conferencing might be high quality enough to make it seem like everyone is in the same room, don’t forget that the big screen in the conference room isn’t necessarily as big as you think it is. Remember to not turn your back to the screen(s) when you are talking to the rest of the group. The “far-enders” need to feel as close to being in the room as possible. At the end of the meeting, make sure no one on the far end has any further comments or questions before everyone in the room gets up to leave. Remember to always say good-bye to the on-screen participants as you would to anyone else before leaving a meeting. It’s just common courtesy! 6. The Human Element Just like talking face to face or through chat, video conferencing is a part of your everyday workday. It isn’t rocket science — video technology is just another way you can communicate with people at the office. Put your best foot forward and focus on your meeting and your colleagues, not how you look on camera.