Posts Tagged ‘Virtual conferencing’

How to Successfully Speak in front of a Camera?

December 26th, 2017

Four golden rules to speak to your audience in an effective way while sitting in a video conference

The spreading of virtual places (like video conferences) has made our virtual presence even more important than the real one.  Now, voice is not a secondary detail of our virtual presence, as it highly impacts on our audience together with other factors, like our appearance on the screen and our facial movements. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to spend some time to learn some best practices to speak in front of a camera efficiently.

First rule, speak to the camera. The camera you have in front is your audience, because during a conference your guests can look only at the screen, and nowhere else. In other words, video conferencing compels participants to be attentive and focused along the whole event, without many opportunities to get distracted.

If you look directly at the camera, your participants see you as looking at their eyes and become immediately attentive. If you look somewhere else, the result is dramatic: on the screen, everybody sees a guy who turns right or left and does not speak to them but to somebody else off the screen.

Second rule, keep your hands away from your face.Unfortunately, cameras magnify everything, and even the smallest and insignificant movement becomes automatically well visible and noticeable. The effect is that your moving hands distract your audience, as your guests start immediately to follow your gesturesand lose focus on your words or – which is worse – your presentation.

Third rule; don’t miss the importance of body language. Your shoulders, neck, face and half-bust is well shown during a conference, and anyinvoluntary movement gets magnified. However, natural gestures are useful to make your guests feel comfortable and you look human.  Nobody likes talking statues. The only precaution to take is to maintain the seize of your gestures appropriate (not too large) and avoid your arms/hands flailing outwards, because it could scare your audience.

Last rule, adjust your microphone. If your microphone is too high, your voice is distorted and it sounds not human; if it is too-low, your audience cannot hear. You’d better make some trails before your conference. usually, video conferencing platforms allow you to speak to the microphone , hear your voice and adjust the microphone consequently. It is also important to remember to keep your head not too far while speaking.

Are you interested in virtual conferencing? You are going to find more resources and interesting articles on video  conferencing best practices on R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com

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Virtual Conferences: Which technology is the cheaper between Cloud-based Solutions and On-Premise Server based Solutions?

December 16th, 2017

Despite the common opinion, on-premise server-based technologies for virtual conferencing can be less expensive than cloud-based technologies, on the condition to choose the right product

Moving to the cloud has been the mantra of the world of virtual conferences in the last few years. Among the reasons given, we found that the prices of cloud-based virtual conferencing services are supposedly lower than the old, poor technology of on-premise servers, and, last but not least, cloud solutions are more scalable.

Is this assumption true? Not at all. Despite the cloud revolution, the producers of on-premise server-based technologies for virtual conferences are safe and sound and still on the market with innovative products that are able to outperform the cloud right now, like, just to mention one, the latest release of R-HUB`s TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com) : in the domain of real collaboration, these servers have reached the shortest  frame delays possible today in live streaming ( 3- 10 seconds). This is evidence of the vitality of the technology of on-premise servers, despite the ones that keep on announcing that the bells tolls for them.

Going deeper, clouds are not as cheap as they are usually reported in the leaflets and the advertisements. According to some experts (Brianinca, https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1413438-how-is-cloud-promoted-as-being-cheaper-than-on-premise?page=1#entry-5451300  ), the cost of them is higher in the long run.

And, even though the price of each individual cloud service may seem low, the sum of the costs of all the cloud services that your organization has to buy could be very high in the end. If it is true that clouds are easily scalable, it is also true that it comes with risks of downtime and sudden high traffic peaks that can cost you an arm and a leg.

If you hope to save money on the IT team, you are going to be disappointed: the highly complex nature of cloud products often requires paying high fees to specialized technicians. Last, clouds have their hidden costs, should they be the need of specific hardware or redundant ISP connections.

On the side of on-premise servers, producers have been able to greatly improve their products, at the point that a solution like TurboMeeting has probably no hidden costs and can be managed in total transparency, so that mangers know what they have to exactly spend for their virtual conferences. This outstanding result has been achieved by eliminating the need of maintenance and a devoted IT team. In facts, R-HUB`s servers are self-installing and self-updating machines, and their maintenance is performed by R-HUB team remotely.

In other words, they are devices fully plug-and-play, and their stupidly- easy and intuitive graphic interface that is supported by clear, step-by-step directions on both video and paper makes staff training superfluous. TurboMeeting is so easy that users could even learn to use it just one minute before their conference.

In conclusion, the race between clouds and on-premise servers is still wide open, and we may expect other surprises from the on-premise server technology in the future.

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The Secret of Making your Virtual Conferences feel like Real-Life Face-to-Face Meetings

June 9th, 2017

A seven step procedure for making your meetings from remote even more real than the ones in person.

One of the most-known downsides of virtual conferences is that they are not in person. Therefore, the question comes up naturally: is there a way to make a video conference feel like a real face-to-face meeting? The answer is yes. If you take the necessary steps to host and manage your conferences in the right way, the feeling of being experienced something virtual will disappear in the participants.

– First, don’t forget good manners. The temptation to go causal during virtual meetings is strong, as you often conference in while staying in the lap of comfort of your home. If you wish something that feels real, act like in real life. Dress properly, control your body language and introduce yourself or make an introduction to the topic in the right way, if you have to lead the conference.

– Second, prepare the meeting. It is important to keep in mind that virtual conferences can be recorded. Thus, it is better to secure the environment where you are going to stay in advance, in order to avoid finishing on YouTube as outstanding example of hilarious speaker. For example, you should take some measures to avoid your children coming into the room during the conference and ensure an acceptable level of noise. Weird or improper objects in the background or in the angle of view of your pc cam should be removed; lighting should be adjusted so that you appear sharply and well-defined.

– Third, involve participants. Guests’ involvement is what really makes the difference between a boring lecture and a lively video conference in most situations. Participants will feel important and considered, and they will come again with pleasure at next conference. Involvement is also useful to make your participants remember your words, as there is evidence that active participation triggers people’s memory much more than taking down notes on a notebook.

– Fourth, set aside to the standard rules of holding meetings. Today, we have deep knowledge of the complex mechanisms behind meetings (real and virtual they may be),thanks to the many psychologists that have been studying them for decades. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the standard rules they have laid down, like speaking one at a time and switching off cell phones and other devices that could become possible sources of distractions.

– Fifth, don’t pretend to be in a real life meeting. Strategies could make you look ridiculous. Never forget that you are on line and you are speaking through a digital media. Simply be professional, and don’t ask the attendees to your meeting for too much, especially if they are novices. They could have problems in using the GUI with subsequent discomfort and embarrassment. Remember that simplicity is always the best strategy.

– Sixth, use technology to make the interaction with your audience as real as possible. Don’t be mean and invest in hardware. HD video conferencing, for example, can improve very much your participants’ experience; solutions like R-HUB TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com) can assure you and your audience seamless conferences with hi-definition, sharp images and crisp clear audio.

– Seventh, have fun. The human element is a key-factor of success in any virtual meeting. Including some element of fun will relax participants and make you sound and look much more natural. In other words, it will make your meeting feel more real, and this is exactly your goal.

If you are interested in techniques and tips to hold virtual meetings, you are going to find more resources on R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com

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From Third World to World Class – Through Virtual Conferencing

May 2nd, 2017

How new technologies in general,  and video conferencing in particular, can address many traditional problems of third world countries in less than no time.

There are some basilar services that are taken  for granted in the US  or western Europe,  but that are often missing in a town ofthe third world, like uninterrupted electricity or water supplies. In Nepal, for example, people are extremely pleased when they get continual electricity supplies for eight hours a day. In most African countries, the fulfillment of a simple task as going to the post office can be extremely challenging and time-demanding due to the poor state of roads. In the Philippines, the state of toilets in public schools is so poor that students meet great difficulties in doing their business in the bathroom.

However, the situation of public services has been slowly improving even in the poorest areas of the world thanks to technology in the last few years. The combination of mobiles, mobile apps and virtual conferencing has proved to be a great strategy to tackle many problems connected to distance, bad transportation and lack of a proper network to dispatch electricity. In this way, implementing good levels of governance become possible even in the worst possible conditions.

A smart example of the results that a wise use of technology allows government to obtain is given by mSurvey, a program launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo to improve democracy and participation. Being 65 % covered by rainforests, this African country has the typical problem of difficult transportation that makes travelling and consulting people extremely difficult. The solution has been to develop a mobile app though which citizens can obtain information about budget meetings. In this way, they can vote online and check what was decided simply by using their mobiles. They can also remind local authorities of their commitments and press them to take actions to fulfill people’s needs.

The success of MSurvey is not surprising. In many areas of the third world, it is easier to make a mobile work than continual electric light or water supply. On the other hand, a virtual conferencing product like R-HUB`s TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com) allows a charity or a municipality to implement a local consultation system with the population safely and inexpensively. Being plug and play devices, the servers of the TurboMeeting suite do not need a devoted IT team; they are compatible with the existing main operating system for mobiles, and their graphic interface is optimized for small screens.

In Brazil, the State of Rio Grande do Sul has gone even further. Through the joint use of their mobiles and video conferencing, citizens can actively co-design solutions to address specific problems of their town or village. The “Governor asks” initiative has allowed more than 60.000 people to submit proposals and feedbacks and even face-to-face meetings with politicians and state officials.

In Kerala, a program called Akshaya makes it easy for citizens to obtain elementary services or documents like their driving license through their mobiles. In Bolivia, Nepal, Ghana and Zambia on Track enables students to report teachers that do not show up for class through a text message.  This mobile app has been developed with the aid of the World Bank with the purpose is to improve public services through a bigger citizen involvement.

What is the secret of this new success of virtual conferencing? In my opinion, the reasons are three: the easiness of implementation, the inexpensiveness, and the use of a common device like the mobile to vehiculate it. While it is difficult for many people to access to facilities like proper housing, mobiles are really at everybody’s reach. And implementing a system of consultation through video conferencing is certainly easier, quicker and cheaper than building roads, bridges and infrastructures.

These are only some few examples of how technology in general, and video conferencing in particular, can be used to improve people’s life. If you wish to learn more about this topic, you are going to find more resources on R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com

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