You may have spent your fair share of time in video conferences. But conferencing technology continues to improve, and with it your ability to work in a productive, enjoyable and efficient fashion.
The cloud has already ignited the working-from-home trend – and now, having HD video conferencing built in to your cloud phone system makes it easier to work from wherever your heart desires.
RingCentral Meetings – available now to Office Enterprise customers in the US – offers a comprehensive HD video conference service you don’t have to get from an additional provider. Look sharp in your meetings with these five tips.
Lights, camera, log in
I am fond of working in the classic smoking jacket and slippers from my home office. On a recent work-from-home day, I had planned a video conference for a project kick-off meeting. So, to add some levity to the meeting, I gussied up for the camera and logged in in my lounge garb (much to my surprise and the delight of my coworkers).
Lesson of the story: Be prepared. When you log in to a RingCentral Meeting, your camera is live (whether you’re on a desktop or a mobile device). You can turn the camera off by tapping the camera icon (see below) – or go to the Settings menu to have conferences launch as web-sharing only. But camera-on at login is the default.
Give yourself space
It’s common to gather in one location to join a conference. But when microphone-equipped devices are in close proximity to one another, feedback can occur. That means that more than three people bringing their own devices into the same physical location for a video conference can cause audio distortion.
Another reason to keep your distance from colleagues? RingCentral Meetings identifies whoever is speaking with a feature called Spotlight Speaker. If multiple attendees are sitting near each other, Spotlight Speaker can get confused. So, if you do plan to gather in a group, make sure only one or two people have their mikes on (or use a single device for the session).
Who’s in charge here, anyway?
All Meetings have a host (so as to prevent video-conference anarchy), but RingCentral Meetings is also designed to be democratic and flexible. Hosts can pass the host status to anyone in the conference, as well as leave meetings outright. Plus, anyone can share files stored locally or in the cloud.
The host controls do allow the host to mute participants, close the meeting from further attendees and remove participants (because even democracies need a little policing).
Chat while you meet
It’s great to be able to add comments or ask questions during presentations without interrupting the current speaker. Meetings Chat enables all participants to initiate chat with the whole group or with any individual. I find the latter fantastic when I need to check discreetly with someone on a detail and then respond to questions or add to a point I’m making with a presentation I’m sharing.
Organize your digital life
What “Top 5” list would be complete without a reminder to get organized? In the realm of online meetings, it’s good to have your desktop clean and clear, since it’s the stage for your presentation. Have files you’re going to share ready to go. Check that your apps are updated to limit update reminder pop-ups. And since you can access files from cloud storage in Box and Dropbox, it’s best to make sure you’re logged in there to avoid delays.
Originally published Feb 06, 2014, updated Sep 29, 2020