What Is Video Conferencing? (Definition, Benefits And Tips)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 20 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

In the professional world, video call conferencing has become a popular method of communication. Among the uses for video calls are routine team meetings, client negotiations and job interviews. Learning about video calling and conferencing can enable teams to work together remotely and in real-time and improve efficiency. In this article, we define video conferencing, discuss its benefits, review best practices and list some platforms that you can use to interact with your team virtually.

What Is Video Conferencing?

With video conferencing, two or more parties in different locations can join live meetings using video-enabled devices. It also enables people from around the world to meet virtually and collaborate via audio, video, text and presentations remotely over the internet.

For businesses to grow, it is vital to maintain and develop strong relationships with their partners, suppliers, employees, stakeholders and customers. Using a video call conferencing solution with screen sharing can help teams stay productive, engaged and connected. Additionally, it can improve productivity, save time, reduce travel expenses and encourage collaboration.

Related: What Is A Medium In Communication? (With Types And Importance)

Benefits Of Video Conferencing

Video call conferencing has become common in organisations that have remote employees. Here are some of its key benefits:

Enables remote connectivity

Using video call conferencing allows you to conduct a meeting or discussion with individuals who do not share the same office space. Team members can communicate and collaborate regardless of where they physically are, which improves decision making and enhances team communication. With video calling applications available on smartphones, attendees can participate from anywhere in the world.

Improves interaction

Video calls tend to provide the most accurate portrayal of an in-person meeting compared to other remote communication methods. The ability to converse directly instead of typing your message makes communication easier and more efficient. Adding a video element to voice-only conferences can also be beneficial, making the event more interactive.

Related: Tips For A Successful Skype Interview

Reduces costs and saves time

One of the main advantages of video call conferencing is reducing the commuting time. Travel is not only time-consuming but also expensive. In most cases, video calls can accomplish in-person communication activities during training, conferences and meetings. Additionally, the flexibility that virtual meetings offer can boost meeting attendance rates and also record the discussion for non-attendees.

Increases productivity

Another advantage of saving time on travel due to online meetings is that people can utilise it towards more productive activities. The use of video call also allows employees to be more flexible, resulting in greater productivity. It also helps several teams work on a project in real-time, which can expedite the process and enhance efficiency.

Facilitates collaboration

By reducing costs, increasing team coordination and having more productive meetings, teams can streamline many of their current tasks and enhance collaboration. Since video calls provide the ability to work on projects and tasks in real-time, they reduces the requirement for multiple emails, in-document comments and version control issues which may cause delays. This can also make it easier for teams from different geographical locations to discuss ideas and share feedback during online meetings.

Related: 10 Of The Best Shared Calendar Apps For Professionals

Helps conduct live events and webinars

Companies can use video call conferencing tools for connecting with their employees, clients or the public. With the ability to share visual content, these tools help companies conduct panel discussions, webinars, product launches and other events for audiences around the globe. Businesses can also use this technology to improve their online presence, boost sales and increase revenue.

Ensures consistency and accuracy of records

Video call conferencing technology allows recording and transcription of the meeting, which helps create a record for future reference. Everyone with access to the recording can access them to review the discussions, take additional notes or ask questions if necessary. This ensures that no one misses important meetings or business presentations.

Related: How To Make A Video Resume (With Tips And Example)

Best Practices For Video Call Conferencing

Here are a few best practices you can use to appear professional and effectively communicate during video conference calls:

Set an agenda before the call

Make sure to include a meeting agenda along with the invitation. It provides the participants with a clear understanding of what is to be discussed and helps them prepare accordingly. To keep the meeting engaging, include all relevant topics that participants want to discuss. You can also ask the participants what topics and issues they would like to discuss and include the same in the schedule.

Related: How To Write A Meeting Agenda: Guide With Tips And Sample

Minimise background noise

Try to keep background noise to a minimum when you are joining a video conference call. Consider avoiding spaces with distracting noises, such as public places. You may wish to ask others to be quiet during the call if you are joining from home or in a shared workplace. This ensures that participants pay attention to the active speakers during the meeting.

Even if you have taken all appropriate precautions to minimise noise around you, it is still possible for your line to pick up outside sounds. Keep your device on mute when you are not speaking to avoid disruptions.

Related: Video Interview Guide: Tips For A Successful Interview

Choose the right background

It is essential to maintain a professional appearance when participating in video conference calls. Make sure your background is clean and tidy with minimal visual distractions. You can also use tools that allow you to substitute the real-time background with a single-colour backdrop or a suitable still image to present a more professional look.

Ensure quality audio and video

Investing in quality microphones and headphones for your conference call is an easy way to enhance your voice quality. Headphones make it easier to hear others clearly and help prevent background noise or echoes, which can make the audio distracting. Having a microphone can help you sound better to other participants. Before starting a video call, make sure to test your video and audio devices. Most tools generally have a test service in the options or settings section.

Test new equipment

If you have recently modified the layout of your video calling system, made updates to the existing software or added any new equipment, it can be a good idea to test it out before the meeting. Also, check your Internet connection to ensure you do not experience any lag. As a result, you can identify issues before the meeting and fix them. This minimises disruptions and ensures that you do not miss any pertinent information during the conference call.

Ensure good lighting conditions

Lighting can have a significant impact on video quality. Make sure there is enough lighting in the room so that your video is clear. Place the camera directly above your screen and sit at eye level with the lens. This ensures that you maintain eye contact with participants and keep them involved. A camera positioned too low or high may result in awkward angles.

Turn off all notifications

Consider disabling other alerts of your phone or other devices and putting them away during your meeting to avoid being distracted. Also, make sure to close any unnecessary tabs open on your computer that could be distracting during the meeting. Focusing on the meeting allows you to remain engaged and maximise your participation.

Prepare a backup plan

Unforeseen circumstances, such as connectivity issues, power outages or technical difficulties, may disrupt the call. Make sure you have a plan in such situations, including enlisting a second host, keeping IT on standby or making multiple computers and screens available to ensure a smooth meeting. Testing your backup plans to the group beforehand is also advisable.

Related: Zoom Vs. Webex: Differences, Business Uses And How To Choose

Examples Of Video Conference Platforms

You can choose between many video calling options to meet your colleagues and team members virtually. You can use the platforms listed for one-to-one conversations, team meetings and large-scale meetings. Here are some examples:

  • Zoom: Businesses that want to connect with customers and clients securely can use Zoom's web conferencing software. In addition to offering Chrome and Linux OS support, Zoom also has secure socket layer (SSL) encryption to ensure data security.

  • Microsoft Teams: Key features of the platform include efficiency and collaboration. Integration with Microsoft Office applications like Word and SharePoint makes it extremely interactive, as does the design of the application and its features.

  • Google Meet: Google Meet is a part of Google's G Suite productivity software. Google Meet lets users integrate the full range of Google products, including Gmail and Google Calendar.

  • Skype: There are several helpful communication features included in Skype, including Skype-to-Skype calls, group calls, call forwarding and video chat. It is compatible with several applications, which makes it a favourable choice for many businesses.

  • Cisco Webex: This video collaboration software allows online training, webinars and remote support. Several security features are available in this teleconference software, such as Transport Layer Security (TLS), encryption and firewall compatibility.

Related: A Useful Guide To The Most Popular Video Conferencing Tools

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Explore more articles