Have a need for video conferencing? Whether it be for a guest speaker, distance teaching, dissertation defense, special event, meeting, or student to student interactions, LSA Technology Services is here to help you maximize your video conferencing presence.
During the 2019 fall term, LSA Technology Services video conferencing team held 50 video conferencing consultations, performed 253 test connections, and assisted with 400 instances of direct tech support. The video conferencing team works closely with faculty and staff to provide hands-on support for events, meetings, or classes. However, they also offer training and tips for those wanting a more do-it-yourself approach.
Video Conferencing Support
For those who are using videoconferencing for the first time, wanting extra support, or seeking a highly professional experience, we encourage scheduling a consultation with one of our video conferencing technicians who can be reached at LSATechnologyServices@umich.edu. They will work with you to provide a seamless, high-quality experience for everyone involved. This may involve sharing tips, providing equipment, testing the network connection and audio quality, and providing direct support during the duration of the event. Be sure to schedule a consultation as soon as you have details about your event, however, if it is a last minute, the team will do their best to offer support.
If you are looking for a more DIY approach, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when preparing for and executing your video conference.
Planning and Preparation
- Test the audio of your machine the day before so there is time to fix any issues. Audio can be difficult to test by yourself, so reach out to the videoconferencing team to schedule a quick test.
- To ensure the best video and audio quality, reboot your machine the day before to maximize stability and then limit the number of windows and applications running in the background during the call.
Choose the Right Equipment
- Select one video conferencing tool to use and shut down all other video conferencing apps.
- Use a wired internet connection when possible or sit close to the wireless hub for the best connection.
- Use headphones or earbuds with a microphone to help minimize background noise for one-on-one video conferencing.
- If video conferencing with a group of people in the same room with multiple connections thus creating feedback, we recommend using a portable bluetooth speakerphone featuring a built-in omnidirectional mic that picks up sound from all directions. The Jabra Speak 510 speakerphone is available for loan at the LSA Technology Services loan centers.
Think About Your Setting and Appearance on Camera
- Use a neutral background. Offices or meeting spaces often offer a neutral, professional backdrop.
- Position the camera so that it faces away from a bright window or white wall for correct light exposure.
- Wear neutral, solid colors as patterns and stripes can cause unusual visual effects on camera.
- Place your camera at eye level. Books are a great way to prop up your computer, if needed.
If you run into any issues, the video conferencing team is always available for support and can jump in to help out.
Below are some examples of dos and don'ts when setting up your video conferencing space.
DO use a neutral, professional background with the light source behind the camera for better image quality.
DON’T face the camera towards a window, bright light, or white wall. The space will be under exposed.
DO wear solid, neutral colored clothing for a clean, professional look.
DON’T wear clothing with busy patterns or stripes. It can create unusual visual effects on camera. Also avoid a cluttered or busy background.
DO prop up your computer/camera to eye level.
DON’T have your computer/camera pointing upward towards your face.
For more information about video conferencing support or to schedule a consultation, please contact our team at 734.647.1534 or LSATechnologyServices@umich.edu.