Matthew de Beer has penned a couple of recent blog posts over at Skype’s The Big Blog. The most recent one is called, “See no evil, hear no evil – Tips for audio and video quality” and offers some sounds advice on the use of the mute button. It also offers guidance on lighting considerations for video calls. These are both simple, but helpful tips.
I’m constantly amazed at how many people have video calls in a completely ad hoc manner, giving no thought at all to how they look, or the situation around them. A little thought about lighting can dramatically improve your experience with video calling.
Mr. de Beer also had an earlier post entitled, “Gearing For Success.” In this case he promotes the use of a headset over the built-in microphone & speakers common to a laptop. I concur, but I would make the case more fervently.
IMHO, if you care even the slightest about hearing and being heard you simply must use a decent headset. To not do so is to trade clarity of communications for your personal convenience. It’s disrespectful of your audience.
He offers the Jabra SPEAK410 as a suitable device for impromptu meetings. I have to agree, as USB attached speakerphones go, and I’ve tried a whack of them, the Jabra Speak 410 UC Speakerphone is very good indeed. Highly recommended.
Even so, if you are the only person at your end of the call, a headset is a much better option. It’s a bit like Rock-Paper-Scissors…a headset always beats a speakerphone for a single person.
While on the subject of Skype, last summer fellow blogger Jim Courtney published an e-book called, “Experience Skype to the Max.” Jim’s been a long-time watcher of all things Skype-ish. It even goes into some slightly more exotic uses of Skype, for example Skype-enabled smart HDTV’s and the Android-based TelyHD appliance.
At $8.88 Jim’s Kindle e-book is inexpensive and a nice reference to how to get the most out of Skype for a slightly less technical crowd.