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Video Conferencing – Getting Started

One of the things I have learned in building our business is how much I enjoy taking advantage of video conferencing with clients. For me, there is just something about getting to see that person’s face vs. just the audio of their voice on the phone. I also really find it useful to help our clients with computer and web issues. I like the ability to to share my screen and show them step by step how to do something. By sharing the same view, it makes our conversation flow much more smoothly and gives me the confidence that they are seeing exactly what I am explaining.

Technology can be daunting so I’ll talk briefly about how to get setup for your first video conference.

1. You’ll need a web camera on your computer. Some laptops now come with a camera standard, if not, you’ll need to purchase one. They are usually USB connected and virtually install themselves. A good camera that we use and recommend is Logitech 960 HD. It’s a bit on the pricier end of what is out there, but I have been more than happy with the video and audio quality.

2. You’ll need an application to host the conference. For now we utilize Skype. The free version works great for quick video calls with an individual. It has the ability to show your computer screen and can also handle multiple connections on the call. We also are beginning to utilize AnyMeeting for web conferences and webinars. Their latest version allows for up to 6 people on a simultaneous video call. Google + also provides an interesting web conference format and I’m sure many other social network sites will quickly follow. Point is, we are connecting more and able to see the person adds a great element.

3. Start your conferencing! It really is that simple. Download Skype, find some friends and start calling. You’ll wonder how you ever communicated previously.

Some Uses for Video Calling in your church –

1. Connect with staff providing them the ability to work offsite.
2. Connect with vendors, leaders, etc. to help your church. Church leaders can now be present virtually across the country without the expense of travel etc. I realize that face to face will never be replaced, but in an ongoing mentor relationship, Video conferencing can be a great option.
3. Connect with missionaries and people across the globe. What greater testimonial could you get than to speak with a missionary in the field and see them in their environment.
4. Pastor, put out a weekly web message and record it. Maybe a short, 3-5 minute thought to maintain connection with your church. People can access live, but also view recorded past messages.

Got other ideas for uses? I’d love to hear them. Feel free to comment below.

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For Information on getting video conferencing setup, email me and we can talk more in depth.