Video Conferencing can be a great tool for your business, organization, or school. It can eliminate costly business travel or inconveniently long drives in traffic across town in nasty weather. It can offer advanced classes to students at distant schools, improving their education when there might not be room in the budget to add those classes at a small, rural school.
There’s a whole new variety of software out there, dedicated to making it easier. The software does a lot more than your typical free, home video chat software. Let’s look at five key tools that make these programs worth having.
A huge part of what makes video conferencing software so attractive is the ability to share whatever is happening on your screen with any or all of the meeting’s participants at any time. This means that you can share PowerPoint presentations, web presentations, videos and anything else in digital form with the click of a button. The other meeting participants, be they your co-workers, clients or classmates, will instantly feel much more invested in your work if they can see the step-by step process you go through to present it. If you choose, selected participants can even input commands on your computer using their own mouse and keyboard. With this option, not only can computer maintenance and specialized operations can be carried out remotely, but interactive presentations become possible.
Polls and Other Analytics
During a meeting, it’s always good to know how the participants are feeling. Whether it is in regards to a specific question or just thoughts about how the presenter is doing, getting audience input without having to individually call out each participant is nice, and it is one of the key tools provided to you by most quality video conferencing clients. Even if the participants are not aware they are giving a response to any question, if fact, the software quietly gathers statistics and analytics that allow a presenter to monitor audience activity and bandwidth usage, among other things. By getting a feel for his audience, the presenter will be able to tailor his presentation to the other participants, and the participants will become more engaged when they know that their every action is contributing to the meeting.
Instant File Sharing
During every collaboration, whether it takes place in a board room or a classroom, there comes at least one instance where the presenter wishes he could share a file with the participants. When using traditional methods, the presenter would likely have to huddle everyone around his computer and show the files on his own screen. Video conferencing software, however, eliminates this problem by allowing the presenter to share any file with all participants instantaneously. Many such platforms are cloud-based, making it possible for the participants to collaborate on the shared file in real-time. The feature is also a great way to set up an extra-secure and closed-network P2P file sharing system.
Almost everything is available on the Web these days, which is why high-quality video conferencing services allow two users to control the same browser from their own respective computers. This makes it easy for collaborators with different skill sets to work together to accomplish a browser-based task, and it can also provide a little fun if the work being done is not strictly professional. Either way, it is a great way for participants to bond.
Ideally, meetings should be filled with valuable information and important presentations. Unfortunately, meetings, in their traditional form, cannot be revisited. Since everything that goes on when using video conferencing is in the digital sphere, though, every second of the action can be captured and archived in preparation for anyone to revisit at any time they like. This is incredibly useful for several reasons. First of all, those that miss the meeting (although doing so would be difficult considering the fully-featured suite of mobile apps offered by most video conferencing services) can effectively rewind time and attend it.
Second, it is often useful for those who did attend to revisit the meeting in order to gain a deeper understanding of the points made. Third, the living record can be reviewed in order to settle discrepancies in terms of what happened or was said during the meeting.
Get the Right Tools
High-quality video conferencing services, such as Blue Jeans video conferencing, will provide all of the tools listed above and more. Multifaceted, system agnostic platforms like Blue Jeans allow your business to take advantage of features that go far beyond the capabilities of a free video calling program; this way, you can provide a professional environment that allows any collaboration group to thrive even from hundreds of miles away.
~ Rummer Michael Findlay