Here are seven easy to follow video meeting best practices designed to massively improve your next online event. This will also boost the quality of your everyday remote work. The first one will take you “back to the future.”
Ethernet Wire Internet Connection — I first heard of using an Ethernet wire instead of wireless during my son’s freshman year at University of California Berkeley in the dorms. Amazingly, this was just last year. Ethernet is from the 1990s! This Back to the Future-type trick leads to faster and more reliable internet. Then I heard it again from a VLAB volunteer. VLAB has brought their emerging tech panels from in-person to online.
Headset for Audio — Headsets or earbuds bring a microphone closer to the participants mouth. Make sure a headset is charged before an event.
If Video Quality Fades Switch to All Audio or Phone — Immediately switch to all audio or turn off the online chat and dial in by phone if there is video disruption. Thanks Cisco Webex for this tip.
Shift Your Schedule — Join a video meeting five minutes early. This may mean setting your last meeting to end 15 minutes before the hour.
In Your Face Light Source — Webcams work best with a lot of light. It’s important that it not come from behind the participant like via a window. If there is a window there, close the curtain or shade. A lamp behind a laptop will help brighten a face evenly.
Focus on Eyeline — Placing your webcam at eye level looks best to viewers. Stack books underneath your laptop. This brings the camera more directly in front of the eyes as opposed to below.
Work Outside the VPN — Turn your virtual private network or VPN off for higher quality online meeting or event service. I found this tip on the Webex website. They are known for security among other things so I’ll take their word for it.
Good luck with your next online meeting. I encourage you to share your tips with others. Thanks go to VLAB Volunteer Ms. Avery Hudson and Cisco’s Webex Collaboration website for these tips.
Michelle McIntyre is a Silicon Valley tech PR diva, IBM vet, founder of Michelle McIntyre Communications LLC, and a long time community volunteer. She’s the media relations lead for the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council of Boy Scouts of America and has served on several executive boards including district PTA.