It seems that no sooner did video conferencing room setups start to establish a presence in organizations, video conferencing went mobile. Since meetings on the move are a staple today, it has almost become expected that the device you carry, be it a smartphone, laptop or tablet, be able to support mobile video conferencing applications.
A nod to Apple for introducing Facetime for its iPhone4, because they kicked off the trend for mobile video conferencing apps that have made working on the go even easier. Yet today's savvy organization will have the wherewithal to allow its employees to join and hold meetings using what ever device comes to hand; like a tablet or laptop. Whatever is convenient. However, just because your mobile device has video conferencing capabilities, doesn't mean you are getting the best experience when using it. External factors like bandwidth,connection and network issues or audio and video controls may be sabotaging your experience. With a few good tips in mind, you can make your mobile video work for you, instead of against you. These five suggestions will make a big difference in your overall mobile video conferencing experience:
1. Universal connectivity.
Facetime, Hangouts, Skype are all islands, so you can only connect to others on the same platform or app. For true business video you need to ensure that you can call anyone on anything, and that means you need to have an app that is standards based. Using a mobile solution that is business-grade will allow you to connect with anyone else using a professional video system, including your company's own installed video conferencing meeting room systems.
2. Finding the Network.
We all know how bad a mobile call can be when the signal goes in and out, and the problem is equally annoying and only gets worse with video. The point is "mobile" doesn't have to mean "in motion." If you are video calling on your smartphone, try to get somewhere with a signal and stay there, at least for the length of the meeting. Providers of video conferencing apps have taken it upon themselves to ensure that users get the best quality service. There is a surefire way to make sure you are getting a good mobile video meeting signal, and that is staying near a powerful Wi-Fi access point. Usually network issues aren't as predominant when you are traveling in locations with lesser bandwidth issues if the Wi-Fi access is available.
3. Communicating the Issues.
If you absolutely can't be somewhere with a dependable signal or network connection, let the other attendees know in advance that you are mobile and may have some intermittent issues. It's always better to inform the other participants ahead of time than to let them believe that you are available and then face interruptions during the meeting. Those interruptions waste everyone's time. If you need to re-schedule the meeting and set a time when you think you will be at a location where you won't face issues with connection, then so be it. Because a good connection is the most important pre-requisite of a mobile video meeting.
4. Audio Control.
There are certain basic lessons to learn before you start taking your video calls. First and foremost, you should know how to control the audio settings on your device in such a way that your voice reaches the other side of the line loudly and clearly. Additional and unwanted sound effects can distract, so the best way to avoid them is to mute your microphone when you aren't talking and, if you're in a public place, use headphone, especially with your tablet or laptop. It's an old trick, and a simple one, but very effective.
5. Video Control.
It might seem like an obvious tip, but keep the camera away from the sun. Video conferencing is about being able to see each other face to face. Being blinded by the sun is never a nice experience. It's important to be mindful of the art of camera positioning. Before taking that call, practice with a friend on the other end of the line so that you can know for sure how to position the camera in the way that allows the caller to get a good view of your face, just as they would if they were meeting you in person. Camera quality can also play a role in the video conferencing experience, so if you think you will be on the go and take a good number of video calls at the same time, then it's better to invest in an external camera that you can use with your mobile device. The most important thing to keep in mind as you endeavor into mobile video conferencing is to make sure that your caller's experience is ideal. There is nothing worse than a video call that feels like a rollercoaster ride on a bumpy and winding road. These tips will ensure that you make the best impression during your next video call. Do you have another tip that we may have missed? We'd love for you to share it with us.