Archive for September, 2016

13 Important do and don’ts of Video Conferencing Etiquette for the Professionals

September 29th, 2016

Like for everything, there are rules of behavior even for virtual meetings. We visited the headquarters of the web conferencing server producer R-HUB and asked their remote workers for some useful tips on this tricky topic. We discovered that there exists real video conferencing etiquette for the professional, with its do and don’ts that we are going to explain in this article.

“Oh no! Is this thing on?!” Some embarrassing moments are possible even during a web conferences, with the important difference with real life that making a bad impression online can be really dangerous, not only because there are many people that are watching us, but also for the fact that we can be registered. Luckily, it is possible to avoid regrettable situations by simply taking some elementary precautions. Let’s see what.

  1. Check the settings before your conference starts. Be sure you can easily connect to the web conferencing platform before the meeting starts, not after.
  2. Learn to use the mute button.Press this button while you are not speaking, as it is the only way to avoid background noise and echoing.
  3. Don’t start speaking saying: “Can everyone hear me?” People will tell you if they cannot hear you, don’t worry.
  4. Introduce yourself. Let everyone knows who you are before speaking.
  5. Avoid visual confusion. Regulate your web cam and keep it on eye-level. Check the background, in order to be sure to show a tidy and neat room.
  6. Dress properly. Virtual does not mean shabby, or dirty, or inappropriate. There is no difference in doing business between real and virtual life. The rules are the same, so please dress properly.
  7. Choose a comfortable platform. It is up to technology to meet your requirements, not vice versa. The easiest platform is the best.
  8. Involve the other team members.Collaboration is important during a web conference. Meeting your team members before the conference in order to have a small brainstorm is always a good idea.
  9. Avoid unidirectional communication.If you are successful in engaging the participants, You’ll get more out of the meeting. Invite people to express their ideas and thoughts freely.
  10. Be patient.If someone doesn’t respond immediately, give them a few seconds.
  11. Practice, practice, practice.Recording yourself and playing it back in order to scan for any weak points or choppy transitions is always good.
  12. Set a clear agenda. It is the only way to avoid confusion and keep the discussion grounded to the reality.
  13. Don’t get trapped in the “tetchiness” of it all.In other words, relax. Be you. Video conferencing is simply another way to work, so treat your virtual conference like an everyday meeting.

If you are interested in video conferencing etiquette, you are going to find more materials on R-HUB’s web site at http://www.rhubcom.com

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How to make the most of a Conference Call?

September 28th, 2016

Conference calls have become an important mean of communication for almost everybody. Though, we are not yet used to taking the best advantages from them. So, how to make the most of a conference calls? Here come some few tips.

Distribute an Agenda. Participants need to know the topics of the discussion in advance, in order to be able to prepare their contributions.

Make the introductions. That’s not only a matter of being polite; to recognize the other participants, the new entries need to know each other’s voice.

Have conference calls only when it is necessary. Call a conference only when in-depth dialogue is required. In many other cases, an e-mail exchange works better.

Establish meeting timing. Setting a time structure (start, break and end) will give structure to your conference.

Want participants to keep focus on the conference. Multitasking and conference calls do not get along well. So, please no emails, no phone calls, no other disrupts.

Schedule the guests and their speeches. Through your agenda, set the order of speaking and the max time that is allowed to speakers, in order to avoid wasting time.

Delegate roles. Don’t do everything. Ask someone to help you with clerical tasks, like tracking the time.

Give to each point in the agenda the right amount of time. Not all issues require the same amount of time to be settled; try to dismiss every issue as quickly as possible.

Get through the agenda. First, deal with the matters already set on the agenda; the rest can wait. This approach prevents side-tracking and time loss.

Invite only the people that are really necessary. The others will thank you warmly for that.

Limit the participants. The more opinions circulate, the harder it becomes to keep track of who is speaking, and the less useful the meeting is.

Wait your turn. Meeting on the phone wants more concentration than meeting in person. So, please do not interrupt. Be patient, and wait your turn.

Summarize and follow up. After any conference call, spend some time to email the list of resolutions to all participants. Outline the issues that must be explored further, and don’t forget to thank everyone for his or her participation.

learn the ropes. Familiarize yourself with the many functions of the conference call service before your call.

Take down notes. This will help you to retain information and pay attention.

Use visuals only when necessary.  Use them only in situations that call for the visual representations.

Need any further help? If you are interested in holding a web conference for your business, you are going to find more resources on R-HUB Communications web site http://www.rhubcom.com

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Will Web Conferencing be the New Trend in Higher Education?

September 27th, 2016

The increased wireless bandwidth makes it possible to develop new collaborative technologies that will change the learning spaces of universities and the ways of teaching. Web conferencing is going to play a great role in this revolution. Let’s see why.

Today’s classrooms are filled with any kind of personal internet-capable devices, like laptops, tablets, smartphones. Though, according to NMC Horizon Report of 2016 (http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2016-higher-education-edition/), the future could be radically different. Personal devices could be quickly replaced by web conferencing large screens and equipment like 3D printers that allow students to work together in real time in order to create and model objects.

The matter is that the technology development is going to toll the bell for bring- your-own-device culture in universities. Increased wireless bandwidth will make possible more connected spaces that will be equipped with new types of devices that enhance student collaboration. The point to understand is that all education is more and more about sharing knowledge and ideas. Thus, the shifting to a collaboration-focused approach is inevitable, with the consequent birth of new collaborative technologies and the subsequent need to set up educational spaces in a new way, in order to catch all the opportunities that these new technologies offer.

Web conferencing is going to play an important role in this scenario, as it offers more flexibility for all students and enable distance learning. Another important point is that web conferencing has become a mainstream technology in many workplaces. So, students should be trained to utilize it even since the years of university.

The impact on learning space design will be heavy. For a video or audio conference to be as effective as possible, the quality of the visuals and the sounds must be excellent. This will lead to a massive utilization of large digital screens, acoustic panels and ceiling microphone; in one word, to the creation of a new educational environment.

The new trend could affect back the world of web conferencing itself. On-premise web conferencing servers (like the ones of the company R-HUB) could be preferred to web conferencing hosted solutions, as they assure users a better quality at lower costs.

This last point is important. Considering that in the future education will demand a high level of virtual interactions among students and teachers, the problem of costs of web conferencing cannot be undervalued. The preferences of educational institutions should thus go to flat fee systems, as they allow an unlimited number of participant’s to a web conference without any additional cost per participant. And the flat fee system is the one adopted by R-HUB for their on-premise web conferencing servers.

In conclusion, technology will certainly give new opportunities to every actor involved in education, from students to professors. The increasing knowledge sharing will boost any kinds of social interactions, including the virtual ones, with the consequence that web conferencing will be boosted as well.

If you are interested in the new challenges and opportunities that web conferencing offers, you are going to find further resources and materials on R-HUB web site http://www.rhubcom.com/v5/index.html

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Video Conferencing Do’s and Don’ts

September 26th, 2016

Video conferences are essentially in-person interactions, even though they imply the utilization of a virtual environment. Taking care of the participants and their needs is the winning approach in both real and virtual meetings.

 

Mastering video conferencing has become a must for everybody in today’s digital world, no matter if you are a very busy executive or an expat that needs to communicate with his family. Here comes a short list of videoconferencing do’s and don’ts that can help you to improve the overall experience of your web conferences.

 

Do: Switch off your microphone after speaking, as background noise is one of the most annoying reasons of disrupt during meetings.

 

Do: Check your video and audio settings. Avoid delivering long monologues that nobody is able to hear. Take special care of the quality of the broadcast images, as it affects a lot the experience of the participants to your video conference.

 

Don’t: Arrange your camera too low or too high. It must be positioned eye level and hooked onto the monitor you plan to use during the video conference. Take care of the inclination of the camera, as weird angles can be very disruptive during a video conference.

 

Do: Check that your room is properly lit. Remember that natural light is better than artificial light and side lighting is the best.

 

Do: Dress properly. Despite the fact that you are physically in your place, virtually you are in a public meeting where everybody expects to meet a well-dressed and professional speaker.

 

Do: Remove all the inappropriate wall art and decorations. Even better if the walls of the room where you are going to speak from are white and without anything on. The same for your desk. Remove items like coffee mugs, glasses and dishes.

 

Don’t: Read emails or articles, or do some work while in a video conference. All the participants will immediately realize that you aren’t giving them the attention they wish, with the consequence that your audience loses focus on the conference as well.

 

Do: Look into the camera when you are talking. This elementary trick will make the participants feel like you are 100 per cent present.

 

If you are interested in video conferencing, you are going to find further interesting articles and materials on R-HUB’s web site. It is also possible to have a HD video conferencing demo. Their website is http://www.rhubcom.com

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How do Employees use Web Conferencing?

September 25th, 2016

Collaboration among team members is only one of the many possible ways employees use web conferencing. In Forrester’s recent report, at least ten alternative utilizations are outlined, from staff training to online customer support.

 

Web conferencing helps streamline communication across the whole enterprise, as it is clearly shown in the study of the important research firm Forrester on how employees use web conferencing during their working days. Have a look at the ten most usual ways, and you will get easily persuaded of this point.

 

Executive Meetings (65 percent). Today’s executives are continually on the move. Web conferencing offers a convenient way to communicate and exchange information with one another in real time.

 

Company Meetings (59 percent). Virtual meetings are a great solution for many enterprises that cannot gather the whole staff into a single physical space.

 

Routine Team Meetings (57 percent). Executives can communicate with employees face-to-face without the need to disrupt their working day by making them move to attend a meeting.

 

Employee Training (55 percent). Web conferencing provides executives with an inexpensive tool to train people that ensures quick and direct communication with trainees.

 

Online Customer Support (47 percent). Explaining products through a web conference is inevitable in all those cases when a visual contact is needed between the end user and the employee of the customer service.

 

Meetings with Sales Prospects (41 percent). Web conferences provide a virtual room where salesmen and customers can meet and discuss sales prospects.

 

Marketing Webinars (40 percent). Webinars have been proved to be a powerful marketing mean. Using a product like R-HUB Web Conferencing Servers, you can easily scale up to 500 users at a time.

 

Product Demonstrations (39 percent). Like webinars, online demonstrations offer potential consumers detailed product walk-throughs. Another advantage is the high frequency, being it possible to host virtual product demonstrations even on an hourly base.

 

Customer or Partner Training (33 percent). After sales, customers usually need training. The same for new partners. Web conferencing will allow you to achieve this task quickly.

 

Research and Development (33 percent).

Online forums allow researchers massive and quick exchanges of data with subsequent faster progress in any kind of research.

 

If you wish to learn more about web conferencing, you will find many resources on R-HUB website: http://www.rhubcom.com

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