A routine to save you trouble before a video call is not a new thing. In fact, I’ve talked about it before. However, the previous article mentioning a routine for every video call online was aimed primarily at people who make regular video calls from fixed locations, like an office or at home. This article aims to help those who make regular video calls but also travel quite frequently.
Whether you’re travelling for business and need to talk to your team back in the head office and all over the world, or you’re living the nomad lifestyle by travelling for fun and working on your laptop by virtually meeting clients, we wanted to share a few things you might choose to do to optimise your video call experience for both yourself and the person you’re virtually meeting, which can only help with whatever you’d like to project; be it pure information sharing, or something a little more intangible, like confidence in your performance.
The advice to have a bottle of water at the ready for a potential video call on the go might sound a little counterintuitive to some readers. I understand. But water is the ideal cure for most dry throats that don’t involve some sort of medical condition, and as I said before; Dry throats are the enemy of successful vocal communication. Whether you’re video conferencing with a client, a teammate, or your supervisor at work, you want them to be able to hear what you say.
Unfortunately, having good potable tap water wherever you travel is not always an option. This is why keeping a bottle of water handy is useful for your upcoming video call online. Of course in this scenario I don’t mean a bottle you fill with water. I mean a bottle of pre-bottled water. Bottled water companies don’t have a lot of moving parts in their final product, in the end people buy bottled water more for cleanliness than for minerals. So a bottled water company fraudulently selling non-potable water would go out of business pretty quickly anywhere in both the developed and the developing parts of the world. That’s why it’s a pretty safe idea to keep bottled water in particular handy, whether you brought it with you or you bought it locally.
You can also opt for another beverage if you prefer, even one you carried with you from another city, or even another country. The important thing is for your throat not to go dry so that your voice doesn’t crack and croak. You don’t need to drink too much if you’re not very thirsty. Just having a couple of sips before your video call starts, and as much as you need during the actual video call if you feel your throat going dry would be fine. Just make sure to keep your beverage nearby when you’re video conferencing so you can reach for it. That’s another advantage for water bottles. They’re preferable to cups, glasses and open drinking ware because they’re less likely to spill. You might have reservations about sipping your drink during a video call, which is fine. Keep it nearby just in case. Trust me, your voice croaking at a critical moment is more disruptive and embarrassing than you taking a quick sip of water.
This particular step isn’t very different from the recommendation to check your setup, which you can find in my previous article about this topic for more settled video callers. You should ensure that both the camera and the microphone which you intend to use are in good working order a sufficient time before your virtual meeting is due to begin. A couple of hours before starting the video call might be a good idea. Some video conferencing software options, such as all the Banty options, make it possible to test your chosen camera and microphone with the software before your video chat begins.
Having tested your mic and camera, make sure to adjust their position to optimise how your image and voice are captured. If the microphone and camera you’re using are built into your device, such as a camera phone, laptop, or tablet, make sure to align the whole of your device well. Of course, that might take a little more effort in some rooms than the effort it might take in others, depending on what your reservation looks like, so…
If you know you’re going to be making video calls in your temporary accommodations, inspect the room you’ll be making your next video call from as soon as you’ve caught your breath from the trip. Check to see if there are any desks or tables you can set up your device(s) on for a video call. Choose the surface most suitable with regards to height and adjust its position for ideal lighting and background. Experiment with the curtains and lights available in your room to adjust for the ideal lighting conditions. See if you can position yourself somewhere with mostly flat surfaces to reduce the possibility of echo. If you’re staying long enough to make several video calls, this initial preparation of your room will come in handy with later video calls, without costing you too much effort.
Preparing yourself for a video call on the go can be a little different from preparing yourself at home, despite the fact that a lot of the things you should do are essentially the same. For a start, about 3 hours before your video call, you should try practicing what you intend to say during the video call whilst gazing directly into the lens of your camera. This is important because looking into the lens of the camera simulates the effects of eye contact virtually. During a video call, the vast majority of people usually look at the screen. Communicating with greater impact however, means that you should spend the lion’s share of your time looking directly into the lens of your camera, to give other participants the impression that you’re looking them in the eye.
It might also be helpful for you to carry around a notepad or two, Or perhaps an album of sticky notes, along with a pen in case your temporary accommodations do not provide writing material. These smaller paper stacks can be used to jot down some brief notes to act as prompts for your memory while you’re speaking on the video call. Position these notes strategically around your device so that you can glance at them quickly every now and then just before you look right back at the camera again, without anybody realising that you’re reading. You don’t want to seem like you’re reading things off a piece of paper, which is why practicing is important. So the notes can be speaking prompts, not a script to read off of. If you’re worried the notes you positioned might be picked up by the camera and you don’t mind writing your notes digitally, you can type your notes on your desktop. Personally, I prefer a Microsoft program literally called Notepad.
And there you have it. A routine to make your video chats easier during away games. If you’re looking for the ideal video chatting solution, consider one of the video chatting solutions offered by Banty. These blog tips might help you have a smoother video chat in general but using Banty as your video call software of choice is a very particular level of video chatting ease.