10 Clever Tricks to Appear Smart in Video Conference Calls

Believe it or not, joining a video conference call from home doesn’t always have to make you feel like an idiot. Yes, it’s a God-awful communication medium for sure (though that depends on what service you use and how you use it), but in it are some great avenues to appear smart. Just use the expectations of broken technology, lack of transparency, and your colleagues’ own personal insecurities, in order to come out on top. Here are ten favorite tricks for appearing smart in video conference calls.

1. Move the web browser directly beneath your camera

 

how to look smart in a video conference call

This way you can appear to be staring at the meeting when in fact you’re reading E! News.

2. Pay attention to the scenery

What’s behind you? If it’s not a row of books about leadership, posters covered with your company’s flagship product logos, or a trendy brick wall, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity to appear smart.

3. Eat something

Grab a salad or a slice of pizza during the call. Tell everyone this is the only chance you have to eat lunch but didn’t want to miss the call. This will make you seem busy and dedicated. Eating also gives you a great excuse for not being able to chime in very much. As long as your mouth is full and your head is nodding, you’ll seem like you’re contributing as best you can.

4. Say you’re in India

 

how to act smart in a video conference call

Let everyone know you’re dialing in from London, Bangalore, Sydney, or any city where it’s amazing that you’d be awake at this hour. Your dedication to the company will overwhelm everyone with guilt. And, although it’s better if you’re not lying, no one ever really remembers where anyone is anyway so it probably won’t matter.

5. Ask if you can share your screen, then say it’s not working

Tell everyone that you have something important to share that might help the conversation, then make everyone wait for 5 minutes while you try to get it to work. Give up after about 7 minutes and say you’ll share it through email after the meeting. This will let you go back to what’s really on your screen (E! News).

6. ‘Accidentally’ mute yourself

Accidentally mute yourself, then start going on and on about something. They can’t hear you so you could be talking about last night’s episode of Homeland or how you really feel about Twitter, it doesn’t matter. After about a minute, pretend to realize that you were on mute, unmute yourself, then say that you were just echoing what the last person said.

7. Pretend to freeze

 

how to act smart in a video conference call

It may sound like a game, and it is. Pretending to freeze as result of a poor connection will completely derail the meeting and give you an opportunity to silently enjoy the chaos. Observe how everyone stops, tries in vain to make you aware of your frozenness, and talks about you like you’re not there, complaining that you work from home too much.

Re-animate whenever they fully resume the meeting without you, which will once again throw them off.

8. Get your kids or pet on the call

Giving everyone a glimpse of your busy home life will make them appreciate your contributions all the more. Hold your baby while on the call, or feed your dog a snack. The adorable little distraction will make you seem authentic, like you really care.

9. Play around with video effects

While the notes are being reviewed aloud, don a clown face or fancy top hat. This will give everyone a case of uncontrollable giggles, and drive the time-nazis and note-takers crazy. But if anyone else decides to do the same thing, scold them for wasting time.

10. Suggest a follow up when everyone’s in the same place

Nothing makes everyone feel more like the meeting was worth it, than ending by saying it would be good to follow up when everyone’s in the same place. Thank everyone for their time and wave goodbye as you take a last bite of your salad.

Originally published at thecooperreview.com. Follow Sarah at @sarahcpr

 

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24 Myths In Conference Calling: The Complete List

There’s a lot of myths out there about conference calling and how it can benefit you.  We’ve compiled a complete list to show you what all of those myths are.  Be sure to look through them so you can get the best for your business.

Take note this article has gone through minor changes for editorial purposes.   Teleconferencing providers across the country have taken the time to debunk some of the most popular myths in conference calling and while some may be biased or questionable, we leave that up to you to decide.  Let us know what you think in the comments.

 

(via Sound-Connect.com)

1) Don’t I need expensive equipment?

Conference Call Myths

Absolutely not!  Web conferencing has come a long way from the large conference rooms that used to be required to join a video conference.  There are several conferencing products available that are cloud based, which means that the only thing you need is a headset or phone and an internet connection!  Products such as Globalmeet and Adobe Connect are flashed based, so all you need to do to connect to your video conference is enter your meeting URL into your web browser.

2) But won’t my meeting invitees have to download software to use the conferencing product?

Conference Call Myths - No Downloading

Conferencing companies have designed their products to run off of your internet browser with no extra downloads required.  As was mentioned above, several products are flash based which means no matter the age or make of your PC, you can join a virtual conference room instantly without jumping through any hoops.  This means that you can avoid any connectivity issues when inviting a large number of individuals, so you can rest easy knowing that as long as they have an internet connection, they can easily connect to your web conference.

3) Video Conferencing is impersonal and isn’t comparable to meeting face to face.

While video conferencing isn’t literally face to face, it is the next best thing.  With advances in technology you can enjoy video conferences in 1080p high definition video with unmatched audio quality, and with your meeting running through a cloud server you can rest assured that you will enjoy a lag free high quality meeting.  Web conferencing also gives you the flexibility to meet a variety of needs and requirements from your clients.  You can join conference calls from the office, from home and even on the road using your mobile phone!  Web conferencing allows you to better meet the needs and time constraints of your clients while cutting travel costs.

Conference Call Myths - Impersonal

4) Web conferencing is too expensive, there is no room in our budget!

The web conferencing industry has growth exponentially, and because of this pricing has never been more competitive!  Host unlimited meetings in your personal meeting room for as low as $35 per month!  The product can pay for itself even if it eliminates one trip across town or one tank of gas.  For $1 per day you can host as many meeting as you’d like for up to 125 participants, it is a value that cannot be beat!

5) Web conferencing requires more bandwidth than we can provide!

Conference Call Myths - More Bandwith

With the advances in web conferencing technology and ability for the product to run off of the cloud server the majority of organizations can run the majority of web conferencing products with no problem.  If you can watch a youtube video, you can seamlessly run a smooth, high quality video conference.  And with total audio integration with a conferencing bridge hosted off premise you can be assured that you will have a high quality audio conference as well.

Video and Web Conferencing can provide significant benefits to your organization.

Conferencing is easy and efficient and is designed to make your work day as easy and efficient as possible.  Improve your overall communication with clients and customers while enjoying the flexibility that web conferencing brings by being able to connect no matter where you are.  Contact us today to learn more about our web conferencing products and to see which is the best fit for your business.

(via freeconference.com)

Myth #1: Free conference calling services are complicated and difficult to use.

Fact: When you use easy-to-use web apps setup by some free conference calling services, you can painlessly start impromptu conference calls or schedule them for a later date. You can even make your Friday 10am pow-wow a standing appointment using the easy-to-use dashboard. Once in the call, you can monitor the names and numbers of those participating in the call. You can also keep track of when each participant dialed in and how long they stayed, so you know at a glance who’s playing hooky or ducking out early. And, perhaps best of all, you can monitor who is speaking at any given time, sparing you the embarrassment of asking.

Myth #2: Free conference calling services have hidden long distance charges.

Fact: There are free conference calling services that offer free international dial-ins that enable you to connect with colleagues and clients in Germany, Belgium, Australia and the United States, with no access fees or monthly payments. If you need to conduct business outside these areas, FreeConference has toll-free dial-in numbers available for a small fee. You can access these numbers at anytime, with or without a reservation, so your colleague in France can add their two cents at a moment’s notice.

Myth #3: Free conference calling services are unreliable when it comes to the quality of the connection.

Fact: Free conference calling services boast incredible uptime on all its calls, so humming, buzzing or a sudden loss of connection won’t hamper your team’s creativity. Services like FreeConference also ensure crystal clear audio quality by offering an in-browser web conferencing tool, powered by WebRTC. WebRTC, or Web Real Time Communications, is an open source code that allows browsers to communicate directly with one another. This lets you easily share files, audio or video with your clients and colleagues with minimal fuss. WebRTC delivers reliable audio quality that is superior to VoIP (voice over IP) services, such as Skype.

Myth #4: Free conference calling services offer little-to-no customer support and don’t guarantee proper functionality.

Fact: Whether you’re looking for clarification on a particular feature or you’re experiencing technical difficulties, a lot of free conference calling services are fully staffed with a dedicated group of customer support reps ready, willing and able to help you with all your conferencing needs. As for guaranteeing proper functionality, they take pride in their products and strives to deliver the very best service possible every single time.

Myth #5: A free conference calling service may save you money, but it will make your organization look cheap in front of prospective clients.

Fact: While it is true that a free conference calling service can save you money, it is certainly not true that it will make you look cheap. For all the reasons stated above, a lot of free conference calling services offer all the features, support and reliable audio quality that make you look awesome in front of your superiors, peers and prospective clients.

 

(via vyopta.com)

#1 Video conferencing is difficult to set up

 

Conference Call Myths - Difficult to Setup

While this may have been true in the past, there are so many options today for video that are literally a click away. WebRTC and a dozen other innovations over the last 3-5 years have drastically reduced the barrier to entry for video. Today we have more advanced codecs and software to support more users behind the scenes as well as simpler interfaces, so if you haven’t had a video call with your grandmother yet, then shame on you.

#2 Video conferencing is expensive

Yes, video is more expensive than audio and text messaging, but that is because it’s so much more valuable! Think about what type of interaction you get with video as opposed to audio. In the grand scheme of things, video is not unreasonable on any budget. Look at Skype, which is now making it’s way into the business world by taking over for Microsoft Lync. You can join a Skype without paying a single dime.

#3 Video is difficult to Support

Video is as easy or difficult as you make it, just like audio. It comes with hardware, software and a service agreement. Get proactive about the way you support your video network by using some nice cloud-based management and analytics tools.  Automating some tasks gives you more time to focus on increasing adoption and quality of experience for your users.

#4 Video puts a strain on the network

While it is true that video traffic can be difficult because it requires low latency, low jitter, low packet loss with non-deterministic packet length, and high bandwidth, it is also true that this ain’t the same internet as it was 5 years ago. If you can do video calls over a lossy network like 4G/LTE on a cell phone, you should easily be able to do video over a WAN or land line.

#5 Video takes more time to start and join than it is worth

Actually, joining a web conference can be more difficult in my experience. At least with SIP addressing and video links, all you do is put something like “sip:video@vyopta.com” in an email signature or a conference invite and anyone can join. No need for passcodes or meeting numbers or any of that if your video devices are registered correctly to the network.

At Vyopta we have about 8x more video calls than audio calls, and I have never had to enter in a passcode to join. Our video scheduling service works wonders with meeting invites so anyone can join via nearly any device.

#6 Special Infrastructure is required

Not true. Today you can use virtualized servers or even video over the web like WebRTC. There are some great new companies offering video collaboration through the cloud like Bluejeans or High Five, so you don’t have to worry too much about expensive infrastructure if you don’t want to. However, there is definitely a point where having your own infrastructure becomes much more cost effective.

#7 I can be just as productive on audio

Really? In addition to the obvious difference that video forces you to pay attention to the call because everyone can see if you are doing something else, 55% of all communication is nonverbal. This means you are operating at less than half the possible human bandwidth by being on an audio call. How can people maximize productivity on half the bandwidth?

#8 Video call doesn’t actually replace travel

 

Conference Call Myths - Video Call and Traveling

It is true that 1 video call does not replace 1 trip for 1 person every time. It IS true that the word telepresence literally means remote presence, as in – I can be in two places at once. Did Emperor Palpatine go to the Death Star every time he wanted to have a chat with Darth Vader? No, he only came when it was crucial to the plot and he felt it was necessary. But he did make those trips.

#9 Nobody wants to see me on video

Well, I highly doubt that is true (See point #1). While I cannot argue that there can be a bit of awkwardness the first few times you use video (is that what I sound like and look like on others?), you get over it pretty quick. My tip: turn off the self-view feature that comes with most video call products after you make sure that your background is ok and you are the center of view. It is just distracting and you want to focus on the people you are talking to anyways.

#10 You are just trying to sell me more gadgets and services

I will admit, I am selling you something, but only because I know it is valuable. Actually, we are trying to solve a problem that makes companies more competitive. Over 80% of users who use video frequently say that the main reason they do it is because it makes them use their time more effectively, not because it replaces travel or saves the company money.

Here at Vyopta, we use video 8x more often than audio calls because it is our natural operating state now. We get more out of it and it makes us faster, more agile, and improves our relationships with customers, suppliers, and partners. There is no question about it. Also, my hardware endpoint functions as an excellent second monitor and a mirror when I need it.

 

(via starleaf.com)

  1. Video conferencing? You mean Skype, right?

No we really don’t. Let’s get this clear from the start. The differences between business-grade video conferencing and free video calling software could not be more pronounced.  And if you’ve ever tried to use the latter across your organization, you will have run into issues with quality, security and (lack of) support.  The limitations of free calling software become even more apparent when trying to equip a meeting room with video.  A group of colleagues huddled around a laptop, all vying to be seen and heard, does not a video conference make. Most modern video conferencing and calling systems address all of these issues, so when you are looking for a solution for your business, make sure it not only offers HD audio and video, secure end-to-end encryption, and has a dedicated support line, but also allows you to connect meeting rooms to desktops to mobile workers – to anyone in fact.

  1. The cost of video conferencing is too high to roll it out to an entire workforce.

Traditionally, yes. Video conferencing and calling did have a limited value for the majority of an organization because it was once just too expensive to deploy across an entire business. Clunky, expensive video hardware, high maintenance and usage costs, plus a need for expert human resources, meant that deploying video across your entire organization just didn’t make sense financially. Thankfully, those days are behind us and today’s cloud-managed video conferencing and calling is completely scalable.  The best video conferencing providers deliver a sleek and simple user experience with no cost-per-minute charges.   What’s more, being able to provision anyone anywhere with enterprise quality video calling software at no additional cost, means that video conferencing and calling has truly become a cost-effective way to keep your colleagues and clients connected.

  1. I need a qualified engineer/brain surgeon/rocket scientist on-hand just to make a video call.

Well, you can if you want the company, but really any video conferencing and calling systems you choose should be easy to deploy, install and manage.  Some video conferencing providers still charge a premium for a proprietarily ‘certified’ engineer to install and manage your video conferencing system, but thankfully they are very much a dying breed.  This means there are now plenty of user-friendly video conferencing options available, many with smartphone-like user interfaces, that are intuitive and require little to no training or resource to get up and running.  What’s more, a few video conferencing providers offer a central portal so that internal administrators, or even your video conferencing supplier, can provision, add and remove endpoints and users themselves, with no need for additional external resource.

  1. I already have a video conferencing system in place, upgrading it will mean ripping and replacing all our existing equipment.

A video conferencing and calling system is an investment, there is no doubt about that. And like all good investments, it should withstand the test of time. Now, more than ever, we expect to be able to integrate our existing technologies; video conferencing and calling is no exception. Longevity is key here. Ideally, a video conferencing solution should interoperate seamlessly with whatever you already have in place and also allow you to call anyone on any other system. Even better if you can then manage both deployments from one central location and not worry about who is calling whom from what.  As for worrying about the longevity of the technology itself, the beauty of cloud video conferencing systems is that any software upgrades are rolled out automatically, so you can be sure that you are always using the latest (and greatest) version and are not left stuck with obsolete infrastructure.

 

So there we have it. Video conferencing myths well and truly busted. If you’re ready to get your organization connected and collaborating, contact us today to arrange a demo and see video conferencing and calling that just works in action.  Save up to 80% on conference calling services.

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The Best Price for Conference Calling?

conference-callIf you own a business, which you probably do since you are reading this article, or you are getting ready to setup a business then this is a great article for you.  If you do not own a business, this…..is still a good article for you.

Most people who own a business or are a part of a business or people who do a lot of work in general that involves clients use Skype.  Skype is great for 1 or 2 people even 3, but when it comes to multiple groups of people and you need better audio quality or video quality, you might want to consider a better service.

There are dozens of services out there that offer conference calling, specifically audio conferencing, web conferencing, or video conferencing, or a combination of the three.  So which service do you pick?  Obviously the one with the best price, best features, and best value.

ConferenceCalling.com is rated amongst the top and if you search for “conference calling” in google, you will most likely see it.   Then you have WebEx, InterCall, Arkadin, and many others.

Fortunately for you, we are partnered up with most of them.  What does that mean? It means if you want to know “what is the best price for conference calling?” or “what is the best price for audio or video conferencing?” or even “what is the best price for web conferencing?”, our industry-leading experts with nearly 18 years of experience could give you the best answer possible.  You could go directly to the source to get what you need….or you can do what thousands of people do and use an agent (which is what we are) to sell you the service for a discounter price.

You can see how much are rates are on our rates page.  We can guarantee you huge discount of up to 80% which means a very low price for high quality conference calling.  On average, conference calling can cost you between 0.02 cents to 0.07 cents per minute for one line but that is the average and you will have to inquire with the service provider on what their exact prices are and the response time might take a while.

Contact us now for a free cost analysis or call us at 704-765-9619 and we will personally discuss with you your advantages of purchasing conference calling from us.  You can also email us directly at info@charlotteconferencing.com.

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