GARR, News, Services
Videomeeting: 10 Tips for perfect videoconferences
To keep in touch with colleagues, but also with family and friends, during this lockdown everyone is videoconferencing, often for many hours a day and jumping from a tool to another depending on whom they are talking to.
While in the old days we were used to get technical support from the IT department, we are now managing our devices alone.
Luckily enough, for the videoconference to be an effective and satisfying experience, and not a frustrating one, a few tricks are enough.
Videoconferencing experts at GARR and other NRENs summarised them in the following tips.
Before you start
1 - GET PLUGGED IN
If you are using a mobile device (laptop, tablet or smartphone) connect to power: videoconference services need a lot of power and will quickly drain your battery!
2 - HEADPHONES MAKE IT BETTER
Use headphones or earbuds, instead of the loudspeakers of your device. You’ll avoid echo and make audio much better for everyone in the call.
3 - MIND (WHERE) YOU TALK
Use an external microphone or headphones with internal microphone. If you haven’t one, move closer to the device microphone as you speak.
4 - BE IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Try not to have a strong light behind you (like a curtainless window). A front light is preferable for others to better see your face.
During the Videoconference
5 - SILENCE IS GOLDEN
Mute your microphone when you are not speaking. Otherwise your background noise could distract, cause echo, or break the speaker's voice.
6 - TO EACH THEIR OWN (TURN)
If you want to speak, use the "raise your hand" function and wait for the host to give you the floor. This will avoid overlaps and keep the discussion orderly.
7 - SHARE (BUT NOT TOO MUCH)
Use the “share” button only when you want to show your screen to all participants. Always agree this beforehand with the host.
And if something goes wrong…
8 - CABLED IS BETTER
Connect to a wired port! Even if the connection is good, if radio channels are heavily used the Wi-Fi can become unstable and make your videoconference experience poor.
9 - IMAGE IS NOT EVERYTHING
If the audio is poor and makes it hard for you to talk or follow what the others say, try to stop your video and go audio only: you’ll save bandwidth and improve quality.
10 - CAN’T TALK? JUST CHAT!
Many videoconference applications have a chat function: use it to communicate with others in case of audio problems.
Texts: GARR (C. Allocchio, M. Campanella), Nordunet (R. Buch, L.Fisher), SUNET (V. Nordh)