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Tips for Video Conference Calls

Peter Holst

People are working remotely more often and conducting video conference calls from untraditional locations. Here are some tips from TEECOM’s Network, Audiovisual, and Acoustics teams on how to have the best experience for you and your team on video conference calls.

In General

  • Don’t hold a video conference call unless you need to – use asynchronous communication (instant messaging platforms) whenever possible.
  • Get to know the video software before you use it for a critical meeting – test your system with someone on the receiving end to confirm call quality.
  • Record your meetings so someone who missed them can catch up.

Connectivity

  • Situate yourself where you have good Wi-Fi – consider a Wi-Fi extender if you need to work far from the router.
  • If you have a choice between the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, choose the latter for better performance.
  • If you changed locations and don’t seem to be getting as good Wi-Fi as you think you should, disconnect and reconnect your Wi-Fi – it may be clinging to a distant router.
  • If you don’t have adequate Wi-Fi, stop sharing video to improve your audio quality.

Video Quality

  • Look at yourself on your device screen – ensure your face and the background are well lit with no bright lights, and that your head fills about a half to a third of the screen height.
  • If you can, place the window showing your remote collaborators close to the camera on your device – it will look to them like you’re looking at them rather than at something else.
  • Make sure your background is appropriate for work.
  • Turn off video if an adequate camera view is not feasible or if you plan to move around.

Audio Quality

  • Avoid ambient noise sources like construction, the conversations of fellow remote workers, a dishwasher, pets, clashing dishes – close windows and doors and move rooms as needed.
  • Avoid rooms with hard surfaces (kitchens, sparse living rooms), which are more reverberant – carpet, blankets, and upholstered furniture are your friend.
  • Mute your microphone when not talking to eliminate ambient noise – learn your collaboration software’s hotkey for this function so you can mute and unmute quickly.
  • Use headphones with a connected microphone or a bluetooth headset when possible – microphones built into laptops and tablets pick up lots of extraneous sound.
  • If investing in new headphones, prioritize a good fit for in-ear or over-ear headphones before spending extra for active noise cancellation.
  • When talking, keep your microphone close to your mouth to reduce ambient noise – a headset mic will help with this.
  • While talking or unmuted, avoid unwrapping items, eating, or breathing directly into the microphone.
Peter Holst
Peter Holst, PE, MBA, LEED AP, Principal, Senior Consultant

As the discipline lead for acoustics at TEECOM, Peter sets acoustical standards and helps maintain processes for the team, managing projects and building the practice as TEECOM grows. He enjoys helping design and construction teams tackle complex acoustics questions through clear communication.