Video conference Apps, Tools and Tips
Lives and livelihoods need to go on even with the pandemic imposing physical hurdles.
Everyone is advised to keep distance or to isolate as safety comes first. People, however, are social beings, and the need to interconnect and communicate are also vital. Thanks to technology, we are equipped and enabled to reach out with and among coworkers, friends and family.
Here are some tools or apps which you can use for group virtual meetings.
- Zoom – one of the most popular apps or websites currently. It, however, has received flak due to discovered security vulnerabilities. It can host max of 100 participants for free.
- Skype Meet Now – one of the earliest and most-widely used app out there has extended its capabilities. It is free to use and supports up to 50 participants even for long meetings.
- Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams – from the tech giants and works best if you’re a user of their office tool packages
- Others – it’s good to know that there are several alternatives, so do check out what best fits your needs. Examples: Jitsi Meet, Slack, Cisco Webex, Starleaf, Whereby, BlueJeans, etc.
You just need a smart phone, laptop, PC or tablet with camera, microphone, and internet connectivity, and an environment conducive for meetings.
Aside from the tools, one has to be prepared as if going to a real, live, face-to-face meeting. The agenda, meeting notes, reports, and presentations should be ready. Send these in advance, if possible, so the actual meeting can be an informed one, and thus, can be shorter. Each one has to behave appropriately. Here are some tips from the St. Leo University Office of Information Technology, I’d like to share:
The 8 Do’s of Video Conferencing Etiquette
- be courteous to other participants
- speak clearly
- keep body movements minimal
- move and gesture slowly and naturally
- maintain eye contact by looking into the camera
- dress appropriately
- make the session animated
- be yourself and have fun!
The 7 Don’ts of Video Conferencing Etiquette
- make distracting sounds
- make distracting movements
- interrupt other speakers
- carry on side conversations
- wear “noisy” jewelry
- cover the microphone
Real world success can survive with the available tools, positive outlook and established organizational values, mission and vision. Consider the prevailing pandemic as an environment to learn to adapt and beat the challenges.