Guidelines to Conduct a Video Conference Call

Guidelines to Conduct a Video Conference Call

Conferences and meetings are widely used in almost all industries and it is an effective way of interaction among the participants. These are the venues where valuable business insights are derived and exchanged and are also the best occasions to build rapport among team members. With various advancements in technology and communication and the advent of mobile phones, video conferencing has become much easier and comfortable than earlier days. Video conferencing is a strong way of communication between employees because important commitments, decisions and resolutions are taken during a conference call or video conferencing. The entire meeting proceedings can be transcribed into useful reference notes with the help of general transcription providers.

Video Conference Call

Video conferencing is a technology that allows a number of people to visually connect and interact with each other. Businesses can hold video conferences with anyone at anytime without travelling or changing locations. You only need a mobile phone or a monitor with webcams for video conferencing. This process is more engaging and creates a feeling that all the participants are a part of the meeting and are directly in contact.

According to a recent survey, 62 percent of executives agree that video conferencing creates a stronger relationship and enhances communication more than its audio counterpart. Another study showed that 94 percent of companies found that video conferencing increased efficiency and productivity, while 88 percent said that it increased the impact of discussions. Given the significance of video conferencing, there is no doubt that it must be planned and conducted well.

The following are some tips to conduct a successful video conference.

  • Before beginning the call make sure to check for any software updates. You don’t want the updates to start downloading in the middle of the conference. Reboot your computer, open the software, and ensure that everything is functioning smoothly. If you have time, make a trial call so that you can be prepared for the video conference.
  • Whether you are the host or a participant, make sure to join early to avoid unpredictable challenges. Make sure that your microphone and video camera are working properly. Joining the meeting early will also ensure that your net connectivity is stable.
  • Position yourself before the centre of the webcam to get a clear image. Sit up straight with your upper body showing, remember to have a smile on your face and be presentable.
  • Make sure to keep your cameras properly so that it allows your head to remain in a neutral position. It provides a flattering angle for your face as well as avoids distractions caused by bad camera placement. Keep eye contact at eye level.
  • There are many websites and platforms available for video conferencing and all participants may not be familiar with those. So, take time to briefly familiarize your audience with the platform before beginning your meeting. Invite people to ask questions by posting to the group board or message directly. This will reduce unnecessary noise and distractions. Some popular platforms for video conferencing are:
    • Skype: It allows you to create a one-to-one video conferencing or group conferencing call for free. It also supports file sharing and screen sharing.
    • Google Hangouts: It lets you meet co-workers, customers and partners on the same page easily. It is easily accessible through Chrome toolbar, Gmail, Inbox, and is available on Android and iOSapps.
    • ezTalks meetings: It allows you to hold online meetings with up to 100 participants and supports unlimited meeting times.
    • ooVoo: It allows free video conference calls and you can have 12 people join the same video conference call at a time. You can also share photos, make a capture by recording, and send text message.
    • Zoom: It helps you to have a 50 person face to face online meeting which lasts for 40 minutes. It also displays the video conferencing with HD videos and HD voices so that watch each other’s body language clearly.
  • Effective conversation eliminates unnecessary silence that can have a negative impact. Speak fluently with necessary pauses so that listeners can connect with what is being said. Excessive silence is amateur or awkward. Communicate with your team members if you have any technical difficulties. Keep your screen open so that they can see what is shared.
  • Avoid typing while you are on video: Typing can create disturbing noises and it shows that you are not fully paying attention to the meeting. So it is better to use a pen and paper to write down the notes.
  • Do not eat during the meeting. It can be very distracting and also shows that you are disrespectful.
  • If you are travelling or working from home, there may be disruptions. So the first rule is to keep these acts to a minimum and also notify the group by excusing yourself politely.
  • Keep the meeting right-sized because too many people can create confusion whereas fewer people ensures higher collaborations and better participation.
  • Make sure to use common courtesies like paying attention to the speaker, minimizing multi-tasking and refraining from interrupting. Good manners can help you build business relationships.
  • Make sure to keep your background professional. Keep it neat with a nice painting, books or ornamental shelves with your personal touch.
  • Wear office attire during meeting. Make sure to dress appropriately for the meeting. Avoid loud patterns or colors and accessories like jewellery or scarves as it can distract you as well as the team members.
  • Be aware of your background noises as it can be a disturbance. Choose a silent place for your video conference. If you are wearing a Bluetooth headset, then it may pick up even minor sounds. Though video conferencing can be done anywhere, it is always better to choose a well-designed meeting space. Make sure that you have optimal lighting too.
  • Make sure to record the video for absent colleagues. Record video calls and transcribe them to accurate notes so that absent colleagues can refer to it at their convenience.

Video conferencing allows to hold meetings face to face without people having to travel from one location to another. Transcribing the minutes of video conferencing helps to derive the actionable data of a conference. It helps to record every details of the only the important details of the meeting. With the help of reputable general transcription providers, the minutes of your meeting can be transcribed quickly and efficiently without any error.

Tips to Build a Collaborative Workplace Culture

Tips to Build a Collaborative Workplace Culture

Collaboration is at the core of the modern workplace. In collaborative workplaces, all employees put their minds together, share their views, and combine their knowledge to arrive at the best solutions. Meetings and video conferences play a key role in making this happen, and meeting transcription services are available to document these interactions for review. Collaboration fosters positive relationships and job satisfaction among workers and drives creative thinking, high performance, and improved productivity.

Workplace Culture

Surveys: Collaboration is Paramount in the Modern Workplace

A study published in Harvard Business Review (HBR) revealed that for many companies, the time that employees spend on collaborative activities in the office, including meetings, phone calls or answering emails, has increased by about 50 percent and takes up 80 percent or more of their time.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the integration of social technologies in day-to-day work is fostering better communication and self-organization. In McKinsey’s survey, respondents cited communication and collaboration as the specific benefits of social tools. Up to 72 percent of companies have implemented social tools, with the goal of achieving their full potential innovation and efficiency through highly collaborative teams.

A recent Microsoft survey across seven countries revealed that work is becoming more collaborative, and Gen Z (18-21) starts to enter the workforce in greater numbers, the desire to create and collaborate via quick chat-based modes of communication is growing. Another recent report points out that the millennial generation, which is shaking up the workplace with different priorities and expectations, values collaboration more than any other.

How to Foster Collaboration and Communication at Work

  • Set the example: Leadership and management style that promotes collaboration and open communication is a powerful instrument to encourage the desired behavior in employees. Management shouldn’t remain behind closed doors, but should participate in team meetings and outings. Open and honest communication will go a long way in creating a positive feeling in the workplace. Teams should be encouraged to nurture and foster connections both in the workplace and outside of work.
  • Hire right: Managers need to hire with collaboration in mind. Companies looking to build a collaborative workplace will have to design their screening process to understand if candidates will be good team players and foster collaboration.
  • Integrate collaboration into the workflow: Companies should work to promote employees’ ability to communicate more freely. Collaboration should fit into the natural workflow. Employees must be given the tools they need for open and free communication. Whether in-person communication, collaboration online or phone or video conference, it’s important to make it easy for employees to collaborate without disrupting work.
  • Use technology to fuel teamwork: Adopting digital tools, including social technologies has a key role in fostering collaboration in the modern workplace. Options include email, phone, texting, team-collaboration platforms/apps, collaborative document editing, and online video conferencing. Microsoft Teams, for instance, creates a central, secure, shared workspace for team conversations, meetings, files and tools using chat video meetings and built-in integration with apps. Microsoft also offers Yammer, a social tool that to create communities where employees can share best practices and crowdsource ideas among colleagues. Social tools increase employees’ ability to communicate more freely and self-organize with the rest of the team.
  • Set up open workstations: Cubicles discourage a collaborative workplace. In offices with an open floor plan, on the other hand, make employees more accessible to each other. Workers are more likely to exchange ideas and ask for input in open work spaces. A ‘do not disturb’ sign can provide privacy when needed. Nevertheless, most offices do have private spaces where teams can meet for their brainstorming sessions.
  • Take steps to prevent workplace bullying: Bullying and harassment are detrimental to constructive and collaborative working relationships. Management should adopt a no-tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior order to promote a respectful and collaborative environment.
  • Recognize and reward collaboration: Reward top performers for team work – reward individuals and the team. Recognize the collaborative effort as well as the outcomes achieved through collaboration. Allow them to talk freely and express their ideas, their needs, and their suggestions, and incorporate these in your strategy. Say thank you and provide your best employees opportunities to learn and improve their collaborative efforts.

According to a recent HBR report, women are more likely to make the effort to collaborate at work. The report discusses a study by researcher, consultant, and author Pam Heim that revealed that men and women view collaboration differently. Her research found that while men thought teamwork meant knowing their position and playing it well, women are more likely to agree with the statement “Being a good team player means helping all of my colleagues with what they need to get done.”

Video conferencing is one of the effective and affordable tools for business collaboration. Video conferencing helps eliminate some of the risks of miscommunication associated with phone and email. Arranging for a video transcription service to document the sessions will ensure that the entire team can revisit what was discussed and work towards common goals, a prerequisite for effective collaboration.

How Real Estate Agents Can Minimize Client Security Threats

How Real Estate Agents Can Minimize Client Security Threats

Though considered slow to adopt technology, the real estate sector is now getting innovative, which makes this industry vulnerable to cyber attacks. Real estate agents are particularly susceptible to data breaches, as hackers know that these agents often save emails and handle sensitive data such as wiring instructions, client information and copies of checks.A wide variety of attacks threaten real estate businesses and these include business Email compromise and ransomware attacks. Even while hiring general transcription companies for documentation tasks, realtors must have a clear idea regarding the data security and confidentiality policies of these firms.

How Real Estate Agents Can Minimize Client Security Threats

As real estate firms create, use, store and share more information than ever, professionals in this sector should seriously consider safe data storage and management. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recommends realtors to work with an attorney licensed in the state to develop cybersecurity-related programs, policies, and materials.

Many U.S. states have adopted data breach laws for brokers and other real estate professionals. For instance, in California businesses are required to notify each California resident of a potential data security breach where their personal information may have been obtained by an unauthorized person.

Forbes, in a recent article has discussed certain ways for real estate agents to fix their client security flaws.

Sensitive Data Encryption

Handle the client data in your device or inbox with great care. For better security, encrypt the data before forwarding the file and then delete the details from your servers.

Make sure to deliver the password through a different medium such as text message or over the phone, while sending a password-encrypted document to the client. Such a method prevents hackers from accessing the document via email, as it lacks the password. In Adobe Acrobat, it is easy to encrypt documents by entering a password from within the document settings.

Two-factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication helps to eliminate the exposure of passwords and thus secure your accounts against attackers. In this two-step process, you must first enter your password. The second step is that you will receive a unique code to your phone, i.e. a “one time password”. Along with the password, this code is also important to access the account.

As the code changes each time, a hacker can’t get into your account, unless they access your password and mobile phone.

Never Copy Checks

Instead of copying checks, consider more secure and effective means to verify funds. Most brokerage agreements do not allow real estate agents to transmit the client’s financial data, resulting in agents sharing a copy of the buyer’s earnest money checks via unsecured email.Sharing buyers’ financial information can affect the confidentiality of clients.

In the Forbes article, a real estate firm owner discusses how their firm has created a policy to issue a statement of funds letter that confirms to all parties that funds have cleared and the buyer has complied with the contract. When required by the lender, cleared check copies are sent to them via secure or encrypted email to an official company email address.

Clear Data Policies

The firm must consider creating clear and easily enforceable policies that are easy to understand for the agents as to what they should and should not do. Educating agents on the types of data and how to respond to it helps. While reviewing the firm’s policy manual, consider consulting an attorney and data security professionals to ensure that you abide by law and the guidelines are suitable to protect client data.

Recommendations from NAR

Other recommendations from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) include:

  • Use long, complicated passwords such as phrases or a combination of letters, numbers, symbols
  • Avoid clicking on unknown attachments or links, as it can download malware onto the device
  • Avoid doing business over unsecured Wi-Fi
  • Regularly back up critical data, applications and systems, and keep backed up data separate from online systems
  • Never download apps without ensuring that they are legitimate and won’t install malware or breach privacy

Reliable real estate firms often showcase their commitment to protecting their clients by verifying client information before sharing specifics. Such an office will also make sure to benefit from quality digital transcription service to get accurate transcripts of any type of property reports such as property summaries, construction site recitations and site-engineer notes.

How Can General Transcription Service Help Businesses?

How Can General Transcription Service Help Businesses?

General Transcription ServiceBusiness meetings, interviews, conferences and seminars, phone calls, video presentations, conferences, speeches, webinars and podcasts are all vital elements in any business organization and play an important role when it comes to data mining and decision making. The audio recordings of these must be transcribed accurately for easy reference and sharing, for which most businesses employ a general transcription service provider. Readily available transcripts help them keep an account of all the decisions made during the meetings and also use it for future reference. Financial institutions, academia, media, religious organizations and government agencies among many other entities utilize the service of general transcription providers.

To find out how general transcription service can be of use to businesses, let us consider an example. Take for instance a land surveying company with a good track record that focuses on providing personalized and professional approach to its clients. Land surveying companies provide a variety of services for residential and commercial property developers, helping them to plan and organize the developing process, taking into account the layout of the land. They also help to establish property ownership and define boundaries owned by each person. As with any business, here also efficiency is most important for success.

In a company such as the above, the team typically spends a lot of time away from the office undertaking valuations, property assessments, meeting with clients, doing rent reviews, building surveys and so on. When they get back to the office, they may have to do a lot of typing – transcribing the recordings of the day. In such a scenario, a general transcription company can be of assistance. They will provide the service of transcriptionists who can transcribe in real time or later according to client preferences. With this service the team can dictate on the go and have the transcripts by the time they return to the office. Of course, this can be done with office-based transcriptionists as well, but the better option is to use external resources especially when the demand for transcription proves too great for the office-based typists, or when they are too busy with customer service work.

In this “mobile” age, the office team can also use smartphones and advanced digital dictation apps to dictate their reports, notes and evaluations in real time out of the office. For a land surveying business, speed of response is critical if they are to maintain excellent client service. This speed and efficiency can be ensured with the support of an external general transcription service provider.

What advantages can such an outsourcing model offer?

  • The office team can closely track the progress of each transcription from the secure server to the typist and QA team to the encrypted return of the transcripts.
  • All files marked urgent will be given priority.
  • The client can decide on the turnaround time, which will be strictly met.
  • The transcriptionists can work directly within the systems of the land surveying company to make sure that sensitive information never leaves the company servers.
  • Maximum quality and security are assured.

Hiring a professional general transcription company is beneficial for almost any business. It ensures that clients do not have to invest in infrastructure, technology, equipment and employees for the tasks of recording and transcribing. Organizations can maintain accurate and up-to-date official records on a regular basis.

Importance and Advantages of Captioning in Video Transcription

Importance and Advantages of Captioning in Video Transcription

Advantages of Video Transcription and Adding CaptionVideo transcription is the process of creating a text version of each and every word spoken in your video. It involves carefully watching and listening to the video and preparing a text version of the same along with a suitable caption. Usually, time codes are added to ensure that video sites and search engines know the exact time when each sentence is spoken. Video transcription and captioning enables viewers to clearly understand the video with rewinding or forwarding. Video transcription services are value-added services provided by general transcription providers that enable businesses as well as individuals to publish and share their videos. Here are some of the advantages of transcribing your videos with appropriate captions.

  • Ease of access for hearing impaired people: Just like the normal population, individuals with hearing disabilities also need to access information or resources. Adding captions to the video or transcription of video helps deaf or hard of hearing viewers to read and understand the content.
  • Improves viewing in sound sensitive surroundings: With added caption, viewers can watch the video even when the audio is not available or in a noisy environment. Viewers can read the caption and enjoy videos in sound sensitive environments.
  • Better SEO and increase in video views: Transcription of videos improves SEO and with transcripts search engines can crawl the full text of the video or audio. A study with This American Life (TAL) showed that adding transcripts improves SEO. In 2015, TAL showed that the organic search increased by 6.68%. A study by Discovery Digital Network showed that YouTube videos with captions gained more views than ordinary videos.
  • Creation of derivative content: Content creators and market researchers use recorded video or audio to create clips, reels, and montages. However, sifting through that content without transcripts is quite intimidating. On the other hand, if transcripts of the videos are available, these can be scanned and accessed easily using key phrases or topics. It also helps in taking valuable content from the transcript with just copy and paste button.
  • Increased video search and user experience: Video transcripts also help viewers to find what they are looking for and this can increase traffic and also improve customer satisfaction. In a study by MIT Open Course Ware, 97% of the students said that videos with transcripts enabled quick learning.
  • Easy to translate into foreign language: With a video transcript, translation of that video content into any other language becomes easy and quick.
  • Better comprehension: Transcripts of videos enable online reading and learning and also enhance the experience of viewers who are watching them. It also helps in deeper understanding of the concept discussed.

The need for accurate information is crucial when it comes to communicating your intentions and messages clearly and efficiently. Therefore, whether audio or video recordings, professional and dedicated transcription is essential.