Tips for Video Conferencing

What's different about videoconferencing?

  • People can't read body language as easily, so it can be difficult to tell if someone has finished speaking;
  • Generally, a videoconference camera has a narrower field of view than the human eye;
  • Communication can be made difficult by the delay (up to 1 second) inherit to videoconferencing;
  • Some colours and patterns (particularly on clothing) do not translate well to the videoconference screen;
  • Audio quality is degraded in a videoconference, so it can sometimes be hard to understand what people are saying;
  • Documents and signage can be hard to read over a video link compared to seeing them in person

What can you do to make your videoconference successful?

  • Leave a 5 second gap between someone finishing speaking, and someone else starting. This helps prevent people from speaking over each other, which can happen because of the lag in transmission;
  • Sit people as close together as possible so that the need to move the camera is minimised;
  • Avoid wearing stripes, floral, or other complex patterns as they can slow the video transmission. Also, try to avoid wearing white as it tends to be hard to look at on camera;
  • When using PowerPoint or printed material intended for use with a document camera:
    • Use at least 18 point type - preferably 24 point - for A4 slides;
    • Leave a margin of at least 30mm around graphics. When a video slide is sent by the system, it often loses content from around the edges;
    • Use contrasting text colours - avoid extremely sharp contrast;
    • Avoid using fancy graphics, logos, watermarks etc behind your text.
    • Consider carefully the balance of time viewing slides and presenters.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.

By following these few guidelines, your videoconference is guaranteed to be a hit!