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3. Limitations of Videoconferences

Barlow, Janelle Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

25


No one believes or even suggests that videoconferences will replace face-to-face meetings. In fact, some people even doubt that this medium will be as widely accepted as we may first think. Their voices need to be heard in order for us to understand exactly how videoconferencing can add value to the mix of communication tools we currently use. The negative viewpoints will help us to think more clearly about maximizing the effective use of videoconferencing.

A common point of view is that videoconferencing will add value by supplementing telephone and written communication when more human connectivity is desired or required and in-person meetings are not possible or are too time consuming or expensive. Videoconferencing will sit between telephone and in-person meetings as another communication tool available to businesspeople.

Chuck House with Intel, for example, suggests that substituting a videoconference for an in-person meeting might be worse than skipping some meetings altogether. “Consistent remote attendance heightens frustration, builds alienation, and serves to segregate more often than integrate the remote attendee.”12 House’s point is worth considering.

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27. No Food, No Gum

Barlow, Janelle Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

88


Every individual has different beliefs about eating, and you set yourself up to offend someone if you eat while on camera. Even more offensive is trying to talk while you are eating. The best rule to follow is not to do any chewing while participating in a videoconference.

That can be particularly challenging if the videoconference goes on for quite a while. When that happens, take a break if you need to eat.

In some virtual meetings, one site has sandwiches brought in and the other site has nothing to eat. In person, this would be terribly rude. It is not much better on video.

What about beverages? Peter Grace, chairman of the Grace Corporation, once gave us some good advice. We met him at a Bangkok cocktail reception where, naturally, everyone had a glass of wine in his or her hand—except Peter Grace. Television cameras were about, as this was an important group that had gathered. He told us that it doesn’t matter what is in the glass—a Coke or water. It will look like you are drinking alcohol. That will offend someone. And to others it sends the wrong message. It looks like you aren’t working.

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35. If You Are Sick

Barlow, Janelle Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781576751923

29. Patterns and Colors in Your Clothing

Barlow, Janelle Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

92


Your eyes do not see the same colors that the monitor displays. Reds are the most dangerous, frequently projecting as brown or orange—not the most flattering colors on most people. Reds also project too brightly and can shimmer. Use red in small amounts. If you want a relatively true projection of the color you are wearing, stick to blues.

While a little bit of white will reflect light on your face, making your eyes appear brighter and giving your face a healthy glow, wear white only as an accent color. White in large amounts is too glaring and will darken your face. White or light blue dress shirts look very professional on men. For more formal videoconferences, leave your suit jacket on.

Women have much greater variety available to them in their clothing choices. Watch female anchors on television whose skin tones match your own to see what would look best on you.

And never forget that the camera adds about ten pounds to your girth. Dark colors (navy, black, charcoal, dark gray or dark brown) will create a slimming effect because dark colors recede. Light colors come forward.

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Appendix B. 105 Commonly Mispronounced Words

Barlow, Janelle Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

137


While you are improving your image for videoconferencing, you might also make sure you are pronouncing words correctly. Listed below are 105 commonly used words that are frequently mispronounced. If you are insecure about your background, education, or accent, correctly pronouncing these words will help you appear as if you have an Ivy League education.

Some people argue that there is no one set way to pronounce a word. Others say that the way your boss pronounces the word is the correct way. Still others say that if others can understand you, it does not matter how you pronounce words. All this may be true, and if you hold these points of view, then you can skip this section. But for those of you who would like to make sure you are following standard pronunciation, the list follows.

The correct pronunciation of these words comes from the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd edition, Unabridged. We have used a simple phonetic system to indicate how the words should or should not be pronounced. First, the word is divided into syllables, and then its preferred pronunciation is given, followed by a short explanation of common mispronunciations. If this system is not clear to you, definitely check your dictionary.

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