With everyone’s lives being impacted in some way by Covid-19, we are all in the process of adjusting to our “new normal”, which at best seems as though it will be an ever evolving and constantly moving target. One bright spot is the rapid growth of the video conference.
To fill the void of lost interpersonal connections brought on by this global pandemic, businesses and individuals alike have been flocking to video conference tools. It’s a scientific fact that communication is more effective when you can see the person you’re talking to, so this feels like a natural progression. From a business perspective we have found video conferencing a valuable tool to keep the lines of communication not only open, but dynamic as well. Sharing websites, product information, design schematics, and design renderings with clients has been paramount.
There’s really no shortage of video conferencing tools on the market. Some are better than others, but often the best fit depends on your business or personal needs. Here’s a look at six of the most common and popular video chat/conference systems available:
- Apple FaceTime
- Google Hangouts
- Microsoft Teams – Teams integrates with dozens of other tools. You can host meetings with up to 250 people present and with no real time limits. Sharing images and documents through this method has been a very valuable tool in maintaining effective communication with our vendors and clients in our interior design business.
Set the Stage
If you can, find a private space to start your video call. If not, use headphones to minimize background noise. Set up your device or camera so that it has a clear, unobstructed view of you. Make sure your face is well lit. Natural lighting and side lighting work best, but overhead lights will work well, too. Backlighting can often make it hard to see. Clean up the area around you. Open up the camera on your laptop or switch on your external camera and see what’s visible in the background before the call. You might also want to set up a virtual background if you don’t have time to tidy up your space. Dress how you would for an in-person meeting, and make sure to follow your workplace’s dress code.