Most of us these days do not have friends, acquaintances, and business associates only in the same city or country as we live. Most are spread across continents, yet we need to communicate with them on a daily basis. But how is that possible? Well, technology has made it possible to 'meet' a person without ever moving away from our computers, or without even being in the same room, building, city, state, or even country. Wonderful, isn't it? Yes, it is, and all thanks to this little thing we call the Internet.
Video conference is not just for communicating with business associates. Families can stay connected, and so can friends from all across the globe. Cyberspace and the Internet has changed lifestyles and lives forever. You don't even need email if you can conference with your friends or loved ones who are miles away.
Tips on Effective Internet Video Conferencing
- Devices: While using this method to hold a conference, you need to have the right kind of devices. You will need a fast Internet connection, one with high bandwidth. The most popular are Ethernet and ISDN. Also make sure that your computer is set up with the necessary camera, speakers, and microphone.
- Illumination: The whole point of 'video' conferencing is that the person with whom you are conferencing can see you. The illumination must be appropriate for this and so should the lighting. There should be fluorescent lights placed in strategic places. Do not set up lights behind the caller, as this will hamper visibility.
- Eye Contact: Do not use cue cards while you are on this conference. This just makes it look like you are giving a presentation, and to be quite honest, the person on the other end will know that you are using cue cards. It is best to maintain eye contact, or in this case, virtual eye contact during the entire period of the conference.
- Ear Contact: Now this is a term one would think they haven't heard. This means that the audio of the conference needs to be appropriate, as you need to listen carefully and respond to the other person. Talk slowly and distinctly for the other person to understand what you are saying. Do not sound bored or monotonous.
- Visual Aids: Use other aids during the conference, like props or photographs, this makes it more interesting than a boring conference where the people are only speaking and doing nothing else.
- Exchanges: It is advisable that you pause between statements and allow the other person to speak and interact with you. A video conference is not a monologue. It is a dialog between two or more people. This improves the overall interaction in the process of the conference.
- Etiquette: There is something called netiquette that needs to be maintained at all times. It is just a few levels of decorum that need to be maintained. Yawning, fidgeting, and irrelevant banter is frowned on.