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Business Video Conferencing
Business video conferencing is becoming a very popular way to conduct business with those companies that may not be within their city limits; this is actually a very good way to introduce a company to a new area and to make new contacts between two perspective businesses.
There are of course those conferencing etiquettes, those dos an don'ts that any business personnel should be aware of, whether it be a conference call or a video conference. Make sure that your conference goes off without any problems by avoiding this list of 10 things not to do when doing business video conferencing.
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10 Things NOT To Do...
- Not Being Prepared - This is a top one, regardless of situations. For business video conferencing, it may not just mean you haven't dressed for success. Being prepared for video conferencing includes making sure that everyone involved has the right equipment to video conference and that the equipment is working. Also make sure that everyone has the materials needed for the meeting. Waiting until the last minute doesn't do anyone any favors and it can make your business look bad.
- Not Scheduling Properly - For most video conferencing uses, the speakers are in separate locations. And with these separate locations are time differences. Not knowing what the time difference is with the person you will be conferencing with is just bad planning. Eight o'clock a.m. for the United States is not the same as eight o'clock a.m. in say London or Madrid. Make sure you know what the time will be and make sure that you schedule around the other person's time schedule.
- Outside Distractions - Any distraction or interruption that is not a part of the conference or not an emergency should be avoided. This means letting those that will not be a part of the conferencing group know that they are not to be disturbed. This also includes cell phones and pagers; these devices should be turned off or put on silent. Let family members know you will be in a meeting at the scheduled time and that if an emergency comes up, to contact you in a specific way. If you must answer a call, excuse yourself and go outside the room.
- Non-Coordination - Going along with the first don't of not being prepared, this is not coordinating your conference with those you are connecting to. Sometimes, emergencies do come up - if the business video conference is between your group and another, let someone in your group notify the others that you will not be a part of the meeting due to an emergency. If it is just you, notify those you're meeting with before the conference (within an hour if possible) so they are aware that you are unable to attend.
- Not Dressing for Success - Appearance is extremely important in the business world and it goes without saying that you should be dressed for a video conference. Even if they can only see a portion of you, make sure that portion shows that you are conducting a business meeting, even if it is through the computer and a web camera.
Image credit @ MorgueFile.com
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Tips 6-10 for Business Video Conferencing
6. Not Arriving on Time - Whether you have set up the video conferencing or someone else, the most important thing is to show up on time. Make a point of showing up at least fifteen minutes before the meeting; if you know you're going to be late, notify the participants.
7. Not Thinking This is Another Meeting - The problem with the Internet sometimes is that people don't treat it the way they would anything else in real life. Despite the fact that you are miles away from the person on the other side of the screen, you are still involved in conducting a business meeting and your demeanor should reflect that.
8. Not Testing the Equipment - You're about to start the conference and then realize that the sound isn't working or the camera isn't working. Always make sure to test the equipment in advance before your meeting; along with testing your equipment, make sure to test it with those you will be meeting with. This ensures that you both know of any issues that may come up and gives you time to change equipment before the actual conference.
9. Not Speaking Clearly - When conferencing, it's best to make sure you're speaking clearly so that others will hear you. This saves time as you aren't repeating everything you say.
10. Not Making Introductions - This should be the first thing you do; while some members of your team may have met the members of the other company, it is still proper to make introductions in case there are people that do not know each other.
The best way to avoid the above situations is to be prepared; make sure to test the equipment both in your local office and with the business you are meeting with. It may be a good idea to have alternatives in case the equipment - though working in the days or weeks before - fails for some reason. There are a few different web solutions that you can try - Windows Messenger, Skype, and other software.
Along with these free versions, there are also solutions that are fee-based that your company may want to look into, in the case that the company begins to make more video conferencing calls in the future.
Image credit @ Skype.com