Jun 04 2020

5 Common Videoconferencing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Addressing technical concerns upfront can help to ensure trouble-free communication and collaboration from a distance.

Jittery video, bad lighting and other technical issues can hinder at-home videoconferencing for anyone — but they’re a major roadblock for critical conversations with patients and other clinicians. Here’s how to conduct a safe, stress-free call.

1. Not Having Enough Bandwidth for a Video Call

For a one-on-one 720p video call, Zoom recommends an upload and download bandwidth of 1.2 megabits per second, while Full HD (1080p) videoconferencing requires 1.8Mbps. A gallery-view meeting requires slightly more. Microsoft Teams requirements are similar. Most home setups should suffice; visit speedtest.net to check your bandwidth.

2. Making Calls Without Testing the Equipment First

Schedule a test call with a colleague or friend (Zoom and Teams also offer this function). Aesthetically speaking, position lighting behind the camera or place a few lamps at your side — and avoid wearing patterned clothing. A test will identify audio and video issues and identify any background clutter. Make sure all device cables are plugged in.

3. Excess Applications and Environmental Distractions

Before the call, close all nonessential open programs and stop downloads and backups to conserve processing power and bandwidth, and set up in a quiet room. Mute the microphone after you speak, and try not to talk over people. Consider a headset or an external microphone and camera; the quality is markedly better than most built-in elements. 

4. Poor Signal or Too Many Users on the Home Network

Close unnecessary applications and ask others on your network to refrain from high-bandwidth activity. If you’re on a mobile device, go where the signal is stronger. If a choppy connection persists, tell the moderator. Videoconferencing apps auto-adjust depending on bandwidth, so acceptable calls are still possible.

READ MORE: Learn about tools and best practices for a successful remote work setup.

5. Insufficient Video Call Security Measures

Moderators should require meeting passwords, review attendees (even during the call), enable waiting rooms so no one can join before the host and use the lock function so latecomers can’t join. Don’t share meeting links on social media, and train staff to spot signs of suspicious links. Ones ending in .exe, for example, could be malware.

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