Tips and Tricks

UCC offers a number of video conference and collaboration solutions. Which option is best suited to your needs will depend on what you are trying to achive. We hope that the scenarios presented here will help you choose the tool best suited to your needs. Key features of our available services have been outlined for you separately.

General Tips for a successful Video Conference 

  • If organising a VIVA, Exam or Interview where reliability is essential, it is best to use a wired network connection and wired AV devices (rather than wifi and bluetooth connections).
  • Be mindful of leaving the microphone on before and after the conference, or during a private conversation. 
  • You should know how to: mute your microphone - mute your own screen - share your desktop - use instant chat - invite multiple users.
  • If using the shared desktop feature, remain logged out of personal email and instant messaging to avoid the display of private messages.
  • Have the contact numbers or email addresses of the participant(s) beforehand, in case you encounter connection issues and need to contact the participants.
  • If experiencing audio feedback advise particpants to use headphones or advise all participants to turn down speaker volume in their location.
  • For further tips on avoiding echo/feedback at a PC, read this: Microsoft Guide to Avoiding Echo. This guide can also be useful for issues with non-Microsoft PCs. 

Ideal Environment for an online meeting

  • A wired internet connection
    • All platforms will work over wi-fi, however, where reliability is essential a wired connection is preferred. 
  • A small room
    • This can be your office or a small meeting room. The acoustics or microphone setup in larger rooms may not be ideal for online meetings
  • Health and Safety

Technical Considerations

Equipment

For online meetings from a PC, we recommend using a Logitech C920 camera or equivalent, these can be purchased on Agresso from PC systems.

You can also borrow the plug and play Logitech Connect all-in-one designated Video Conference camera and Microphone from the library.

Audio Feedback

Audio feedback is a common problem. If experiencing audio feedback, use headphones and advise particpants to use headphones, or advise all particpants to turn down speaker volume in their locations.

For further tips on avoiding echo/feedback at a PC, read this: Microsoft Guide to Avoiding Echo, this guide can be useful for issues with non-Microsoft PCs

Internet Connection Type

A wired internet connection is more reliable than wi-fi. Where possible schedule your event to take place somewhere with wired access to the internet. 

Practise makes Perfect

For a smoother online meeting/event experience become familiar with the software options you will be using. 

Common features you should know:

  • How to mute your microphone
  • Mute your own screen
  • Share your desktop
  • Use instant chat
  • Invite multiple users 

Privacy Considerations

  • Be conscious of leaving the microphone or camera on before and/or after the conference/meeting
    • Personal chit chat can and will be picked up by the device and potentially broadcast to your audience. 
  • Log out of your personal accounts if you plan to use a shared desktop feature during the meeting.
    • This avoids your attendees inadvertently seeing private messages.

How to look best on camera while working from home.

  • Clean your lens 
    • Be it a separate camera or the lens in your laptop, cleaning the lens will yield a clearer and smear free image. A clean piece of soft cotton will work.  If you appear too clear and are using Zoom, it has a filter that allows you to even your skin tone.
  • Pick your position
    • In photography, light coming from the same angle of the lens can create flat, even light. The larger the light source the better so sitting opposite a window is recommended. Aim for a large window but no direct sunlight. Avoid sitting with your back to a light source as it can trick the camera into making your outline into a silhouette & cause flare in your image.
  • Camera height.
    • Ideally you need it to have the camera at eye height. A book or two make help to achieve the correct height. Make sure the support is secure, especially if you have to use the laptop keyboard. Remember to look at the camera, to make eye contact during your meeting, as you would in a regular face to face encounter.
  • Distance.
    • Do not sit too close to your screen as wide angle lenses can be unflattering. Built in microphones should be able to produce good sound at a regular distance.

If all else fails

Have the contact numbers or email addresses of all the participant(s) to hand.  Should you encounter connection issues or sound issues it will be quicker and easier to contect everyone. 

Audio Visual Media Services

Seirbhísí Meán Closamhairc

Áras na Laoi, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

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