Video conferencing requires a new conversation etiquette

Thursday, July 7 2011

The use of web conferencing suites is a boon for companies that often incur high travel costs. A video conferencing system that includes high definition cameras and monitors, microphones and the software to transmit and receive video messages is a small price to pay for instant communication.

However, it is important to realize that this communication isn't quite like one that would take place face-to-face. Though the excellent technology makes teleconferencing as close to human interaction as possible, there are still a few things to remember when having a long-distance digital conversation.

It is important to position a video conferencing system's camera as close to where a picture will appear as possible. Unlike speaking to someone in person, eye contact can be difficult to maintain when a camera is placed away from a monitor.

Quick movements should also be avoided, since it can be easy to slip out of frame without warning. Many systems incorporate a small picture-in-picture representation of the recipient's point of view. However, this can be distracting and many people will end up focusing on this window rather than the one presenting the other end of their conversation.