Best Practices for any video conference

To appear professional in any video conference, you need to pay attention not only to how you look but the light, sound, shot framing and what is behind you.

  • Practice before the actual event. SERIOUSLY! Kids know this stuff because they practice socially. Adults are silly enough to try things for the first time under work pressure.
  • Have good Internet speed: Be 10 to 30 feet from your wireless base station and in a direct line of sight with no large appliances, or other metal objects, in between you and the wireless base station. Ideally, plug your computer into a hardwired Ethernet cored (the large phone wire thingy).
  • Restart your computer. This usually speeds it up.
  • Designate a “chaperone.” Each teleconference call needs a person on each end of the call. They need to stay for the entire event and be able to reestablish the call, sign into accounts, install software and restart the computer.
  • Have a “back channel.” Each call needs to have an additional way to be in contact with callers if calls drop or technology fails. Good choices are google text chat, Skype text chat, or cell phone numbers.
  • Mute your mic unless you are talking.
  • Use headphones, or earbuds if you can. They limit feedback.
  • Frame your shot: Make sure there is good light on your face, with no windows or sky behind you. Frame a close up shot of your face. Place your eyes in the top third of the frame even if you have to put your laptop up on a box or some thick books.
  • Make eye contact. Try to look at your camera lens as much as possible. This simulates eye contact.
  • Limit room noise. Close windows, turn down TVs, move away from people talking.
  • Clean Webcam lens and Raise. Check for fingerprints and dust on your webcam. Raise it to eye level if you can.

Google Hangouts How-To

  1. See above.
  2. Start the Chrome browser. Log into your Marlboro Google account.
  3. Make sure you can see a calendar invite for the interview, there is a link to a Hangout from every calendar details page. Just click on the calendar invite. Or, someone will send you a link, or invitation to your Marlboro email.
  4. Make sure you are in a quiet room, with good light on your face, and no windows directly behind you.
  5. Join the meeting 10 to 15 minutes early to check your mic and camera. Frame yourself so your eyes are in the top third of the screen.
  6. Join the meeting. Check your mic and camera buttons at the top of the screen once you roll over the hangout. Mute your mic when not talking.


  1. Restart. Give the group a short break. Restart everything (computer, call, etc).
  2. Turn off video. If the video keeps freezing or dropping the call, try having one, or both, sides of the video conference turn off their video streams. Keep audio on. This saves bandwidth as video uses the most bandwidth.

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