Video Conferencing Best Practices

Check yourself

Before placing your call, check that your computer is setup for video conferencing by performing these tests:

  • If your computer does not have a built-in webcam, be sure to attach a webcam and download any necessary drivers and/or updates if prompted.

  • If you have questions about using a webcam or microphone, you should be able to run a web search of the product model for more information. Alternatively, see the device's manufacturer's instructions.

  • While your wireless network connection may be fast, you will have more reliable results by plugging in directly to an Ethernet port.

  • Navigate through the program's menu to find settings for the webcam and microphone. You should be able to preview the camera's picture and test the microphone and speakers.

  • To select a different microphone or webcam (if you have plugged in external equipment), use the drop-down menus.

  • Most programs offer a test call service that allows you adjust volume levels and hear that your microphone is working. Make sure you have the right microphone and speakers selected. Do this with enough time to troubleshoot if the test call is unsuccessful.

Do a dry run

Connect with your remote participant before the call time to be sure they are also keeping these best practices in mind. If your video conference call is scheduled (an interview or a guest lecturer), it is helpful to perform a test call prior to the event to be sure you are able to connect.

Keep in mind differing time zones. If you are in North Carolina scheduling an 11am conference call with someone in California, it must be clear to both parties there is a 3 hour time difference.


Finally, situate yourself so that light is on your face, not behind you. This ensures that your remote participant can see you clearly. If a bright light is behind you (like a window or lamp), your webcam may try to compensate for the bright light and your video will appear dark.

Classes or meetings

If more than one person is participating in the local side of the call, it can be difficult to position your laptop so everyone is seen in the video. An alternative is to use a free-standing webcam that you can place at the front of the meeting room or classroom. Even if your meeting is with three people, you may want the option of positioning the camera to be able to pick up all participants.

The Video Conferencing Kits in Media Services come with a webcam, USB extension cable, and a stand. Plug the webcam into the extension cable to give you an additional 10 feet from the computer to position the camera. Attach the camera to the stand and use the preview screen in your video conference software to frame your shot.


Article ID: 75994
Fri 4/12/19 12:05 PM
Wed 2/28/24 9:34 AM
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