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What are some best practices for video conferencing on my laptop?

Video Conferencing is a live video-based meeting between two or more people in different locations using video-enabled devices. Video conferencing allows multiple people to meet and collaborate face to face long distance by transmitting audio, video, text and presentations in real time through the internet.

There are still human and environmental elements that can affect the success of a video call. Here are some best practices to ensure that your video call is as effective and productive as possible: 

 

    1. Make sure your connection is strong.
      • The minimum requirements for video conferencing includes three things: a high-resolution camera, ample computer processing ability (minimum 2 GB of RAM) and a reliable internet connection (about 2 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up of internet bandwidth on both sides). If possible, use an Ethernet cable rather than WiFi. This may reduce issues with your network connection and prevent your video from freezing or audio cutting out.
    2. Have the best possible audio settings:
      • If you are using a laptop-embedded microphone or an external microphone, if possible ensure the microphone is not further than 15cm away from your mouth to avoid sound reflections in the room.
      • Wearing a headset in noisy, crowded spaces can help eliminate distracting echoes and help other participants hear you more clearly.
      • If you’re in a loud area, a best practice is to mute yourself when you are not speaking (especially if you are on a call with more than two participants). Make sure to un-mute your microphone before delivering a two-minute monologue that no one will hear.
      • You should test your microphone before your video call, especially if it's important! Test it by video-conferencing with a colleague before the real Video Conference or in the settings of your application.
    3. Have proper lighting and camera positioning
      • Don’t position your camera too low, too high or hooked onto a different monitor. Weird camera angles can be very distracting -- and unflattering -- during video conference calls.
      • Make sure your room is well lit (side lighting is the best). Use natural light from windows or simply turn on the overhead light in the room to brighten up the conference. Windows are wonderful for adding natural light to your office, but when a window is behind you, the camera may darken your image, giving you a harsh silhouette effect.
      • You should test your camera before your video call, especially if it's important! Test it by video-conferencing with a colleague before the real Video Conference or in the settings of your application.
    4. Remember that you are on a call with other people; it’s not just you and your laptop.
      • Video conferencing is like inviting someone into your space. Check your camera view to ensure you are not showing anything you may not want to show.
      • Be aware of body language; treat participants at other sites as if they were in the same room as you.
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