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10 Ways to Improve Your Video Calls

July 30, 2014 by

10 Ways to Improve Your Video Calls

As individual consumers, we want products to just work - no heavy lifting required. Why should the workplace be any different? Why should we dread the conference call? We shouldn't struggle to start meetings, mute lines and connect with people outside of our organization.

People love Fuze because we make it quick and easy to connect from nearly any location and across the devices you already use. Our goal is to deliver a service that “just works” -- and behind the scenes, we have done a lot within our applications and our network to ensure a great experience for everyone in the meeting.

Critical to delivering a great user experience is making sure Fuze works across any network situation you may encounter - wired, wireless and mobile. Fuze has a lightening-fast global network, but the last-mile connections between our network and your devices can impact quality. Knowing this, we’ve designed our service and applications to dynamically adapt in real time and optimize the experience for everyone on the call. This application and network intelligence allows us to navigate your connectivity challenges and deliver in situations where many solutions completely fail.

While Fuze does its part, there are other important factors that you can control and optimize. Here are ten tips for optimizing your Fuze experience:

Start with the network - Our adaptive technology to adjusts to your network conditions -- trying our best based on what you're serving us. We're placing bets that you're mobile and not chained to your desk, so your location may limit your connection options. For ultimate Fuzing, we suggest the strongest possible internet connection: (1) A wired connection typically provides the cleanest connection -- especially for the big, important meetings. (2) If wireless, you can often improve your signal strength by simply locating the router and moving a little closer. (3) If mobile try connecting via wifi or 4G. If you are in a very low bandwidth area, we recommend calling in by phone or using our Call Me feature.

The quality of components matter - Using your machine's built-in speakers/camera might leave something to be desired, as many PC and device manufacturers cut corners. Fortunately, quality HD webcams and bluetooth headsets are now relatively inexpensive -- and dramatically improve meeting quality. Some tips: we suggest noise-cancelling headsets (especially for mobile/tablet usage), cleaning your camera lens and muting yourself when you're not speaking - ensuring your colleagues don't hear the train or coffee shop noise around you. See our Getting Started guide for hardware recommendations.

Lighting and background make a big difference - Just like photography, good lighting is critical to producing a quality video -- and many of the same tips apply: avoid direct sunlight (either behind or in front) and check your surroundings. Before you start a call, look around and ensure that your background is creating the intended impression. To keep everyone focused, you'll want to keep background distractions to a minimum. Don't be afraid to show your personality with plants, photos and art, but remember to keep it clean and tidy. To create consistency and remove the distraction, some customers have even opted to include a company logo banner to display behind their deskspace, encouraging remote workers to do the same.(i.e. Fuze/Seattle).

Close other applications to free up processing power - Video communications requires a lot of processing power. Try closing non-essential applications before launching a call, especially those that require processing horsepower like games, video streaming services, design programs, etc. You can look at your device “task manager” to view which applications require the most processing resources.

Join with confidence - We built a new Green Room feature so you can quickly check and adjust your settings prior to joining a call. Users love the Green Room because it takes away some of the anxiety around remote meetings and helps them join with more confidence. We also recommend minimizing your own video window after joining the call. Leaving it open can be unsettling and distracting -- like standing in front of a mirror while trying to have a conversation.

Dress to impress, but not distract - Some cameras have a hard time with bright colors, highly contrasted stripes and intricate patterns. We’ve found that solid colors or clothing with simple patterns work well.

Avoid the echo - The dreaded echo issues are almost always avoidable. In most scenarios, echo stems from (1) a participant joining audio twice, from both computer (VoIP) and phone or (2) multiple people in one room being connected to audio (from their computer/device). If you're encountering issues, try muting your microphone and ask others to do the same. If the problem persists, move electronic devices - especially phones or other wireless products - away from microphones and speakers.

Interact like you are in the same room - Some first-time video users may be a little nervous, but we encourage you to act naturally, as though you're meeting in person. To create better eye contact, look directly into the camera. Get familiar with the application - The easiest way to get comfortable using video is to practice and familiarize yourself with any functions you may need. We’re here to help -- explore our Getting Started user guide.

Don’t forget meeting best practices - Virtual meetings benefit from the same best practices as in-person meetings. Check out our tips for more effective meetings.

If you follow the tips above, you’ll be an ace in no time. Relax, have fun and use Fuze for your next meeting.  See what the fuss is about.

Printable: Check out our Pre-Flight Meeting Checklist.


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