Once we got everything running we ended up making several adjustments to our set-up to make the most out of the conference room.
When we first hooked up the webcam we attached it to the top of the TV, the way we had attached any other webcam to a computer monitor. The angle this produced in the video was terrible. It gave the feel of looking into a fish bowl or seeing the room through a security camera-type view.
We started this Skype initiative to better connect with our remote employees. Instead of having to instant message or talk over the phone we wanted it to feel like they were in the room with us during meetings or daily conversation. We want anyone connected to the conference room to feel like they are sitting at the table with us. Based on this we determined the best place for the camera is at the bottom of the television.
Notice we have attached the camera to the bottom of the TV with Velcro. This ended up being an excellent decision. Putting the camera at the bottom of the TV also put it in a place where it can easily get bumped by someone walking by. The Velcro allows for the camera to move without breaking.
Here is what you would see if you were connected on a video call to our conference room.
We created a unique user name in Skype for our conference room to avoid having to log on and off between different people using the room.
To get closer to “eye level” it also helps if you move the window with the video you are looking at closer to where you have the camera. To look someone in the eyes you really have to make “eye contact” with the camera, having the window closer to the camera creates a more natural look between listening and talking.
Share your screen if you are talking about something on your computer. I have noticed we will sometimes refer to something on the screen or point to the screen, but the person you are Skyping with cannot see what you are referring to. If you share your screen you can point things out with your cursor.
Make sure everyone in the room can be seen and heard, even if they are sitting in the back of the room. If everyone cannot be on camera, make sure you can at least be seen when you are speaking.
If you have a lot of people in the room, be aware when people start talking over each other—it might be more difficult for the person connected via Skype to follow what is being said.
Come back for more on our company usage of Skype.