Question: I find myself making endless calls to clients nationwide. What are some of the best practices for conducting conference calls or virtual meetings via video?
CAPTURE CONFERENCING WITH SCREENFLOW
“If you’re using a Mac, Screenflow screen capture software is the way to go. It records both your desktop and your webcam video feed simultaneously so that you can edit and splice together both in post-production. Screenflow also offers a number post-production controls to make a quick and professional vlogcast.”
HEADSETS AREN’T HOKEY!
“While they may look a little goofy, headsets free your hands so you can take notes during the video conference. They also keep the noise level down, so if there are others in the room, they won’t be listening to your conversations, and other people on the call won’t hear the echo of their own voices either.”
PLAY IT BACK WITH ECAMM CALL RECORDER
“I use Skype for a lot of calls, from consulting to interviews. Whenever possible (and by agreement of whoever I’m talking to) I fire up Ecamm Network’s Call Recorder and record the call. It can spit out multiple formats, including MP3, giving me a record of what was said. I’ll often have those calls transcribed, as well, so that I can refer back to them without listening to a long audio file.”
WHY PAY FOR CONFERENCE CALLS?
“FreeConferenceCall.com provides a very simple solution to create a conference line for all parties to dial into—up to 1000 participants with free recording and up to six hours of talk time per call. It also sends professional invitations for the call, and is one of the easiest user interfaces to navigate.”
YETI PRO MICROPHONE
“The Yeti Pro provides crisp audio so you don’t have to think twice about crackling during an interview. This mic is all around a great choice for conducting interviews, radio shows and podcasts. With its USB, you can take it on the go with you and plug it in right into your computer without a crazy soundboard. “
I ALWAYS GO IOS
“My favorite gadgets to chat are an iPad or iPhone and the stock iPhone headset. They are perfect: portable, great battery life and you usually carry them everywhere anyway. Now that McDonald’s and tons of other chains offer free WiFi, you really can video chat from anywhere. Bonus: I like to chat on my iPhone and take down or reference notes on my iPad.”
WORKS BETTER WIRELESS
“Wireless headsets are incredible for video calls because you are not tied down to the computer if the connecting cord isn’t very long, and you never have to fumble around with too many wires either. “
AUDIO MATTERS MORE THAN VIDEO
“I did video interviews multiple times per week, and the best piece of equipment I have is my Audiotechnica AT2020 USB condenser microphone. It’s basically a studio quality microphone that connects to your computer. Always invest in having great audio quality over video–it’s what matters most in viewing recordings later.”
SIMPLY WITH SKYPE
“When we conduct videoconferences, we use Skype. Everyone has a username, it’s free, and there are additional features like share screen. I recommend Skype as the sleekest, simplest and easiest to use tool for videoconferencing.”
WORK TOGETHER WITH LIVEMINUTES
“LiveMinutes is a free and superb service that integrates with Skype. Through the platform you can sketch and share files, connect to Dropbox and reference Google Maps. You can easily manage up to twenty participants. It’s definitely one of the most useful tools out there.”
GET RID OF THE NOISE—EVERYWHERE
“Our company is globally distributed. As a consequence we do a lot of videoconferencing from noisy spaces: home, coworking offices, coffee shops, etc. Having a headset that features a microphone and noise cancellation helps facilitate the conversation and makes us sound professional. We’ve been using the Logitech Premium Notebook Headset for several years now, and with great success.”