Author Topic: Video conference guidance  (Read 1302 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Video conference guidance
« on: March 27, 2013, 09:25:03 PM »
My company uses video conferences regularly.
Today I had a vendor in and we were in one of our conference rooms where we all sit at a half moon desk and face the camera and screen where we see the other sites.
We have trained our staff on best practices.
One is to make sure you don't spend a lot of time with your head turned only talking to those in the room your in, that you actively include and engage with the people at the other sites.

In today's meeting, the vendor, the presenter of the topic, spent 80% of the time with his head turned to talk to me or a co-worker seating on the other side of me. If this was an hour meeting, it wouldn't have bothered me, but we were in the meeting for 6 hours. At one point I stood up and moved behind him hoping he'd redirect his attention forward but instead he turned all the way around to address me. Then after a break, I moved to his other side so that one of us was on each side of him, but then he just swiveled his head back and forth between us. The only time he'd present facing the camera was if someone from another site asked him a direct question, and even then, he'd look at them while they were talking and then turn to one of us to answer.

I couldn't figure out a polite way of encouraging him to engage with the others with out coming across as "tutoring" him, which I didn't see as my role. But I felt bad for the other sites as it would appear to them to be slightly excluded from the conversations.

What would have been an appropriate method of suggesting that he spend more time facing the camera?


White Lotus

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 10:33:31 PM »
Text someone at a remote site and ask her to ask questions and get others at her site to do so.   Leave the room or do it on a break if texting in meetings isn't your norm.  Were I at a remote site I might come up with this independently.  I do wonder a bit why you want to do this since he isn't one of yours, apparently.  But you do want to, and inconspicuously, so this is something to try.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 07:57:17 AM »
Text someone at a remote site and ask her to ask questions and get others at her site to do so.   Leave the room or do it on a break if texting in meetings isn't your norm.  Were I at a remote site I might come up with this independently.  I do wonder a bit why you want to do this since he isn't one of yours, apparently.  But you do want to, and inconspicuously, so this is something to try.

I wanted to fix the problem because I'm the host of the meeting and part of my responsibility is to make sure all participants are fully engaged. If I were a remote participant in the meeting, his behavior would have made me feel like an onlooker and not a full meeting participant.

I appreciate the suggestion of having remote participant ask a question.

sejeroo

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 09:39:10 AM »
Could you make up a short handout with tips and tricks-

I have never participated in a video conference, and am not sure I would think to face the camera, etc.

But if I had a handout before-hand explaining the etiquette, I would find that extremely helpful!

Yvaine

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 09:53:48 AM »
Blame the camera. "Oh, btw, the camera is here and you'll want to spend some time talking into it because otherwise it'll make it look like you're talking off to the side, to the people offsite." Not great wording because I need more coffee. But make it something you kind of brief people about before they speak. I doubt he was doing it because he's inconsiderate or didn't care about engaging with the offsite people. I think it's human nature to gravitate toward a face rather than a lens. (He probably felt rude turning away from the people in the room!) Don't explain it like an etiquette issue--explain it like a tech issue, and before the person speaks. Same way you'd explain a quirk of the microphone or projector.

artk2002

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 03:57:01 PM »
Have someone make a drawing of a person's face and mount it above the camera. In fact, have drawings of multiple people, to emphasize the fact that the camera is representing them. The problem is that, unless you've practiced it, it's much easier to talk to a real person in the room than to the camera.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 04:44:58 PM »
Have someone make a drawing of a person's face and mount it above the camera. In fact, have drawings of multiple people, to emphasize the fact that the camera is representing them. The problem is that, unless you've practiced it, it's much easier to talk to a real person in the room than to the camera.

I liked this idea until I realized it really wouldn't be needed.  The camera is actually placed above the video screen that shows the actual live people at the other offices. 

Think of it like you and your SO are at house house sitting in front of your computer and video skyping with your mom who is at her house and you are telling them about a weekend trip you just took.  You and your SO are sitting facing your computer/camera but you keep your head turned toward your SO as your telling the story.  You only turn toward your computer monitor/camera when your mom asks a question and then when you answer you turn back and look at your SO.

Sejeroo, I think I'll start doing a "Tips and Tricks" introduction if I don't know the participant is comfortable with video conferencing. 

   

hobish

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2013, 04:30:07 AM »
Have someone make a drawing of a person's face and mount it above the camera. In fact, have drawings of multiple people, to emphasize the fact that the camera is representing them. The problem is that, unless you've practiced it, it's much easier to talk to a real person in the room than to the camera.

Yah. It sounds silly, but it's a good way to have people focus in that direction if they aren't used to it.
...and if you're hosting the meeting, turn toward the off-site people, and talk to them directly, and have someone answer back clearly.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 04:40:19 AM by hobish »
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Snooks

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2013, 04:36:15 AM »
Just out of interest do your video conferencing facilities also show you on screen?  Personally I hate video conferencing and part of that comes from the fact that I hate seeing myself on screen (even if it is in a tiny box at the bottom), I won't use Skype/Google Chat because of it.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2013, 06:33:57 PM »
Just out of interest do your video conferencing facilities also show you on screen?  Personally I hate video conferencing and part of that comes from the fact that I hate seeing myself on screen (even if it is in a tiny box at the bottom), I won't use Skype/Google Chat because of it.

We have the self view turned off the majority of the time. We might turn it on to adjust the camera so we know what it is capturing in our room.

ClaireC79

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2013, 10:19:20 AM »
Do you need to be in the conference room?  Maybe if to speak to anyone it has to be through the screen he wouldn't forget to say it (I have to say to me it feels rude to ignore the person I'm speaking to and face other people (are the people in the same room also on the screen?)

Hmmmmm

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Re: Video conference guidance
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2013, 11:12:20 AM »
Do you need to be in the conference room?  Maybe if to speak to anyone it has to be through the screen he wouldn't forget to say it (I have to say to me it feels rude to ignore the person I'm speaking to and face other people (are the people in the same room also on the screen?)

Yes, I'm part of the meeting so do need to be in the conference room. I could join from another room but it would seem really odd to the other sites for there to be 2 meeting rooms joining from the same physical building.

No, we turn off the self view, so he doesn't see the people on the screen that are in the room with him.