ooVoo Etiquette & Tips

A Brief Beginner's Guide to Telepresence

Best Practices For Using a Webcam 

 

Before Your Video Call

  • Familiarize yourself with the conferencing equipment
  • Arrange a pre-call trial prior to interview date
  • Learn to use available accessories and peripherals, including document cameras, DVD players and VCRs
  • We suggest that the participants hard-wire the internet connection, rather than using wi-fi
  • Appoint a leader or facilitator for each site
  • Distribute all relevant meeting materials before the call
  • If the conference will be recorded, get permission to do so before recording and then confirm again after the recording starts.


Adjusting Your Camera

  • Adjust your camera so off-site participants can see all the participants on your end
  • We suggest that both parties maximize the screen during the video conference
  • Ensure all participants at the other site are visible
  • Fill the screen with people, rather than tables, chairs and wall space
  • Do not to zoom in too close


Adjusting Your Microphones

  • We suggest that participants use a headset with microphone.
  • Position microphones in the center of the table
  • All phones should be silenced during the video conference and kept away from the microphone, webcam, etc.
  • Ensure microphones are not muted or obstructed by objects
  • Adjust volume on the monitor to an appropriate level
  • Mute microphones when a phone rings or someone walks into the room
  • To limit background noise during a multipoint call, mute microphones when you are not speaking
  • Ensure microphones do not pick up unwanted sounds:
    • Do not rustle paper, tap your pen or make other distracting noises
    • Limit side conversations, including whispering
    • Mute microphones before repositioning them
    • Do not place a laptop right next to a microphone

 

Clothing and Lighting

  • Close drapes or blinds, as daylight may interfere with internal lighting
  • Avoid background illumination and white walls to reduce glare
  • Wear light pastels and muted colors for best video appearance
  • Avoid bright colors, solid blacks or reds, and busy patterns
  • Add contrast with a dark jacket or sweater if you wear white
  • Avoid clothes that match the backdrop color
  • Avoid accessories that jingle since sensitive microphones can pick up the sounds
  • Avoid red or dark lipsticks and dark eye shadows


During Your Call

  • Begin on time and stay focused on the meeting objectives
  • Introduce yourself and all other conference participants
  • Maintain eye contact by looking into the camera


Speak and Act Naturally

  • Speak clearly in your normal voice. Do not shout.
  • Do not lean into the webcam – sit back so that your top half of your body is visible
  • Use natural gestures when speaking, just as if you were in the same room with the other participants
  • Avoid interrupting other speakers
  • Always assume participants at other sites can hear you, even when the microphones are muted
  • Avoid side conversations and make sure only one person speaks at a time

Page last modified March 31, 2011