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Preparing for a Virtual Conference

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
Skype, WebEx, Zoom … whatever program you decide to use for a virtual conference, you have to make sure your device is capable of using all the features. Conferencing from your phone using an app that plugs into the camera and speakers is fine if you’re on the move, but you won’t be able to share screens or files. If you’re conferencing in an office, here are some things you need to consider to make the most of the program you choose:

1) Audio

Obviously you need your speakers or headset to listen to others, and a microphone on your device. Most laptops have built-in speakers and microphones, but we’ve learned having multiple people in a conference room requires a better microphone system. We Skype in our conference room to connect to our remote staff for meetings. We invested in a good microphone that connects via USB to our laptop so when we speak, regardless of where we are in the room or at the table, others can hear us clearly. A little investment like this goes a long way. If you’re conferencing by yourself in a shared office space, make sure you have a headset to listen to the conference call. Be courteous to people around you.

2) Camera

Like your audio system, you probably have a built-in camera on your laptop or tablet. But if you are using a desktop, you may not have a built-in camera. A simple USB camera can easily connect to your PC and they are not expensive. If everyone else on the call is talking through a screen, and you want to be included in that, a USB camera is a simple, worthy investment.

3) Screen

Talking with people through a screen is only one part of the conference. In our office, we upload files and chat on the side to provide URLs and other information while we talk. So having the conference on my smart phone limits my ability to participate. I always try to have a couple screens open, one for screen conferencing, and the other to open and view files and links we share in our meeting.
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