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Video conferencing allows participants to see a presenter's desktop and see each others' faces during the conference. Each participant must have a webcam to be seen. This is useful when making a visual connection (seeing expressions and body language) will improve communication and understanding. In training sessions, team meetings, or sales calls, participants are able to "see" if the other person is fully engaged. Managers who want to see their employees at work may feel more comfortable with a video connection.

A few tips on video conferencing:

  • Send an email notice prior to the conference with date, time, toll-free numbers, passcodes, and any other information necessary to join the conference. For new attendees send installation information with link several days before.
  • Do not multitask or have side conversations, since others will see you.
  • Allow time at the beginning of the conference for others to set up their cameras.
  • Allow somoe time at the beginning for social conversation.
  • Make presentations lively and plan for interaction.
  • When a presenter or participant addresses the team, look into the camera as much as possible to maintain eye contact.
  • Some participants may be uncomfortable with a camera.
  • The technology may initially seem difficult to use for some less-technical participants.
  • Participants without a camera may feel left out.
  • If there are too many video participants, the faces may become too small. (Some software limits the number of participants.)

When purchasing video conferencing, look for many of the same features as listed for Web Conferencing, plus the ability to control how participant images display (focus on them, focus on presentation or presenter).

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This page was last updated on May 6, 2009