Help me hack my skype calls
March 5, 2018 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Our team has frequent skype calls where ten people are in a conference room, and the two or three who call in feel forgotten. Please suggest some kit that can help (specified within) and any other best practices.

I am in search of:

VIDEO:
- a wireless webcam that can capture the conference room at eye level when we put people up on the screen
- a usb light on bendy wand that can cast proper illumination when I am on my webcam by myself

AUDIO:
- a microphone / speaker that provides really good pickup for when 8-10 people are on the call

PRESENCE:
- is there a tablet + stand that could be put at a seat in the conference room that would get people's faces at eye-level?
- are there best practices / rules of thumb for ensuring people feel engaged?

(Previously)
posted by rebent to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have this light which gives out a pretty good glow. Is the issue that people find the discussion has moved on once they get around to having their say? Could they have eg a red card they hold up when they have something to input? That might make it easier to include them at the relevant time.
posted by london explorer girl at 7:14 AM on March 5, 2018


If nothing else, give each of the absent a seat at the table, and try to make the discussion go around when possible, so that when you get to absent Annie's seat, the chairperson remembers to call on Annie for opinions and feedback.

Really it's a matter for the chairperson to draw them in - it's the same as if present Percival is quiet and shy and doesn't speak up even though he is actually the only person in the room with relevant experience. Your chairperson needs to keep checking in with the people who don't jump in and dominate the conversation.
posted by Jane the Brown at 7:25 AM on March 5, 2018 [2 favorites]


My company uses these telepresence robots. They are pretty fun, but rather expensive, of course.
posted by ZeroDivides at 7:39 AM on March 5, 2018 [2 favorites]


My last company's hardware setup worked well:
* a Mac Mini on the wall by the tv
* a USB webcam on top of the tv
* two ClearOne Chat 150s on the table, which could seat a dozen
posted by Pronoiac at 2:05 PM on March 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is it necessary to have the 10 people in the conference room? In my experience as a remote worker, the best way to level the playing field is to have everyone dial in on their own computer, even if they are in the same office.
posted by Cogito at 7:40 AM on March 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


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