Video call 101: Everything you need to know
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Video call 101: Everything you need to know

26th May 2020
By Tom Ladle

The concept for video calls have been around for a while now, longer than you might have guessed. The first experiments involving this tech happened way back in 1927, by AT&T.[1] Sure, it would have been a far cry from the HD video experience we have today, but still, it shows how long people have known the importance of using tech to get closer to a real life face-to-face. With that brief history lesson over (yawn), video has become an integral tool to support remote working. Today, more people are plotted in front of their webcams than ever before so here’s our video call 101 on everything you need to know.

What is a video call?

Well it’s a call using video, durr. That’s correct but with modern day video products they often come with plenty of extra features, all with a shared goal of improving your experience and increasing productivity. Features to look out for include agenda, screen share, present document and online chat. This is a good opportunity to tell you that our video call product has all these features plus more. Our goal being to replicate as many aspects of a real-life meeting as possible, with the difference being that it all happens online!

How to run a video call?

The first step is preparation. You want to prepare like you would for a real-life meeting, plus you want to make sure you’re familiar with how the tech works. We cover this in more detail in how to prepare for a video call. Once you’re all prepared and ready to go comes the easy part, starting your meeting. Simply share your meeting details with your Guests and connect to your meeting room using your webcam and computer audio. This is going to sound obvious so please do forgive us, but make sure your webcam is connected.

Once everyone is in and ready to go start making the most of video and the other features to have an engaging meeting.

When to use video calls?

Nowadays, a video call is the go-to piece of tech when working from home and this isn’t always a good thing. There is a new term that you might have heard being used, that term being video fatigue. The term comes from the overuse of face-to-face video meetings, leaving people feeling exhausted and angry at their webcam, if this is something you’ve experienced then there are ways to alleviate it.

So, what are we getting at here? Simply, there is a time and a place where video calls aren’t needed and a short email or conference call (hint, hint) can do the job. You want to make the most of what this tech has to offer by using it in certain situations. When you and your team want to discuss something in depth, when your communicating with clients, educating your pupils or trying to recruit a new candidate. These are just a few situations where the element of video really comes in handy and trumps other communication tools. Here’s some more on when to use video calls and how you’d use the tech for each situation.

Where to use video calls?

One thing with this tech that you must bear in mind, which you might not with say a phone call, is where you have a video meeting. The factors you’ll want to consider, is the location I am in relatively quiet? Is my internet working? Can my face be seen? Am I relaxed and comfortable? Is the background behind my webcam appropriate? If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding no, then you might want to reconsider your set-up and read more on Where to make a video call. If the answer to all these questions is yes, then jackpot, you’re ready to have your meeting.

Get going today

If you haven’t already hosted or joined a video call before, then there’s no reason not to. Sure, it can take some getting used to, but you know what they say, practice makes perfect.

[1] https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/tech/history-video-conferencing/

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