Video Conferencing UK
18/08/2022

The use of video conferencing in general life or the workplace has increased enormously in recent years. Today, almost everyone in the comfort of their homes, from beds, couches, recliners, or dining tables, connects with people worldwide through video conferencing. Thus, video conferencing promises to provide great benefits and productivity as well. 

It’s easy to use video conferencing. For a tech-savvy person, it’s a piece of cake, but if you do not know much about technology, it could be a bit of a struggle to figure things out, and you might end up fumbling around trying to fix and connect devices. 

Video conferencing is a useful tool used by various industries, including education, business, medical, legal administrative, and more.

Equipment Needed For Video Conferencing

The first thing that comes to mind about video conferences is what kind of equipment or services you might require to connect effortlessly.

  1. For displays, you will require a laptop, large screen, desktop monitor, or a smartphone. 
  2. If you’re using something other than mobile phones, you will need built-in microphones and webcams or a USB webcam and microphone.
  3. Your internet connection plays a major role in video conferencing, so you will need a stable internet connection using WiFi, mobile data, or ethernet. 
  4. The final thing you will require to connect, is some video conferencing apps and tools. 

Do’s And Don’ts Of Video Conferencing

Whether you’re a remote worker or you’ve recently started working from home, at some point, you’ll probably have to use video conferencing tools and apps. While you might know how to set up a video call for a catch-up or meeting, it’s also important to be mindful of a few things you should consider when you’re on a call and how to practice proper video conferencing etiquette.

Do’s 

  • The foremost thing to do before starting a video conference is to find a quiet and private space where you can have your meeting without interruption. You can also use an active noise cancellation microphones or headsets to keep down the excess background noises which might disturb others on the call. 
  • Setup and test the devices beforehand so you don’t have to struggle during the call. Also, ensure that your face is under natural lighting for clear visibility. 
  • One of the essential things to do before joining or hosting a video conference is that you must ensure that your hardware, such as microphone, headphones, speakers, and camera, works.
  • Also, make sure that you have a stable internet connection which is fast enough to support a good level of quality for a video conference. 
  • If you don’t have an office at home, you can set up a virtual or blurred background to avoid showing messy or not-so-bland decor, and the focus remains on you. 
  • Importantly, if you need to share your screen during the call, ensure all sensitive or private information is hidden. Before hitting the share button, you should also clear your desktop of any extra programs or tabs. 

Don’ts

  • Working from home might make you relaxed, but you should check your appearance and dress accordingly before starting a call. Hence, don’t look sloppy or overdressed. 
  • It can be hard to get everyone’s attention during video conferencing, so you should not talk over each other or interrupt when someone else is speaking. Wait for your turn or use the chat function to ask something without audibly interrupting anyone. 
  • Background noise can be very distracting and may interrupt your co-workers when it’s their turn to speak. So, it is important to keep your microphone muted and turn it on when required. 
  • Do not lose your focus during a video call as it may seem to other participants that you’re not paying attention. 
  • Also, make sure your agenda for a video conference is appropriate. Do not set up video calls unnecessarily. If the issue can be handled via text or email, then use them as an alternative. 

Best Video Conferencing Software 

The success of a video conference depends on high-quality video and audio connections, functional features, and performances. So, picking the best video conferencing software is essential to connect online with friends, family, and co-workers seamlessly. Here is a small overview of the best video conferencing tools:

Features/ Tools Google Meet  Zoom  Cisco Webex  Microsoft Teams
One-touch join No Yes No No
Screenshare Yes Yes Yes Yes
Whiteboard Yes (Mac only) Yes No No
Large Interactive Meetings(over 50 people) No Yes Yes Yes
Video Meeting Recording Yes Yes Yes Yes
Integration Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free Trial/ Freemium Freemium Freemium Free Trial Free Trial
Overall Google Rating 4 STARS 4.2 STARS 4.1 STARS 3.8 STARS

How to set up a meeting in Zoom, Teams or Google Meet?  

Video conferencing software like Google Meet or Zoom offers numerous methods to schedule or set up a meeting, such as via Gmail, Google Calendar, web portals, Google Duo, outlook, etc. A host has control over these options to schedule a video conference. However, the method to set up a meeting is the same on PCs, Macs, or smartphones. In fact, it doesn’t even matter which browser you’re using as long as you’re logged into your Zoom or Google account. So, just to give you an idea of how to set up different video conferencing software. Here are the required steps: 

On Google Meet

  1. Create a Google account. However, if you already have one, you’re ready to continue with the next step. 
  2. Now, log into the browser and open your Gmail account. Then, click on Google Apps.
  3. Click on Google Calendar. But if you’re using a mobile phone, you must have sets of Google apps installed on your phone. 
  4. Once you open the Google Calendar app, click on create (on the top left corner). 
  5. Click on Event in the dropdown window.
  6. Click on Add. 
  7. Now, you can set up the meeting and tap on the Clipboard icon to share the meeting link. Moreover, you can also schedule a meeting for up to five years from the date for no charge.
  8. Besides, you can invite guests by typing their email addresses into the ‘Add Guests’ option.
  9. Now that you’ve verified your meeting details click on the ‘Save’ option. 
  10. After you click on Save, your guests/ participants will receive an email with the meeting details such as meeting ID, date, time, and the number of participants. 

On Zoom

  1. Download Zoom software from zoom.us and click on ‘Host a Meeting’ and the installation will start. However, if you want to use it from the browser itself, visit the official zoom site ‘zoom.us’ and click on ‘Sign In.’
  2. Log in with your email ID and password. You can also use Google or Facebook accounts.
  3. After you log in, you’ll be offered various options. Click on the ‘New Meeting’ icon to start a new meeting.
  4. Now, you’ll be in a virtual conference room. Select ‘Invite’ at the bottom of the window.
  5. You can simply select the person you want to contact or click the ‘Email’ tab to choose your email service and send the invitation to guests.
  6. Once you’ve entered the email addresses of recipients, click on the ‘Send’ button. Your guests/ participants will receive a meeting link.

On Teams

  1. Download or update Microsoft Teams apps to the most recent versions. You can also visit Microsoft Teams login page to start the meeting.
  2. Sign in and select the ‘New Meeting’ option in the top right corner​​.
  3. Name the meeting in the title box on the scheduling page with other details.
  4. Then, type the names of the guests in a drop-down menu to add participants. You can also add people outside the group by entering their email addresses.
  5. Click on the calendar icon to select the date and time. However, you can also use the scheduling assistant to see your co-workers’ availability.
  6. Now, choose between a private meeting or a channel meeting. However, if you go for a channel meeting, all team members in that channel will get notified of the meeting.