Tips for Successful Video Meetings and Chats During Covid-19 Social Distancing

In this “New Normal v2.0” world, video conferencing is becoming part of that new normal. I do believe there is no substitute for the old fashioned, face to face meeting, but video conferencing is here to stay.

With that in mind, as the “Video Guy,” (that’s what my license plate says), I will share some useful tips for successful video meetings & chats.

  1. For business meetings, wear work appropriate clothing, top & bottom. You never know when you might stand up and forget what you’re wearing, or what you’re not wearing.
  2. It’s a good idea to sign in a few minutes early to test your audio & video connections.
  3. When you first sign on, it’s best if you mute yourself before jumping in.
  4. Make sure your name appears properly. Not iPhone666, or Sexy Mama!
  5. Don’t Zoom & eat.
  6. Don’t Zoom & Drive.
  7. Don’t yell into the microphone. Use your inside voice.
  8. Try not to walk around with your device. It makes for very shaky video & unwanted noise. If you’re using a phone, get some type of holder/stand for your phone.
  9. Make sure you are framed properly. Don’t sit too close or too far away. Make sure your camera is at a good angle and you are framed in the center. The camera should be placed at eye level for best possible framing.
  10. If possible, do not sit in front of a window or other bright light source as that will create a silhouette effect similar to taking a picture at the beach facing the sun with the sun behind your subject. It is best to have a light source in front of you.
  11. If you’re not speaking, you should mute your audio. Even the slightest noise, phone ringing, door bell, dog barking, TV in background, shuffling paper, or even just moving your device in your hand will create unwanted noise and will cut off the audio of the person speaking as the system searches for the loudest audio source, regardless of what that source is.
  12. If you step away from your device/computer, make sure you mute your system.
  13. This is a little hard, but when speaking, try to look into the camera as much as possible. It takes a little getting used to as it’s normal to look at the people on your monitor than the camera.
  14. You may want to purchase an external web camera & external mic for improved quality. Most built in cameras & mics in laptops are not great. A camera, such as the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 ($70 at Best Buy) and an external mic, such as the Insignia USB mic ($20 at Best Buy) will serve the purpose. You may also want to use an external speaker as well for the same reasons above. These are all nice, but not necessary.
  15. The virtual background is fun to play with when conferencing with friends & family, but for business meetings, could be distracting and diminishes the quality your image. It’s best to use a simple, clean background such as a wall without too many colors & bright lights. If you do need to use a virtual background because you’re working in the laundry room or a messy bedroom, keep it simple. Also, if you are using a virtual background, try not to stray too far from the camera as you will disappear in the image. Use your company logo, or a generic office background. Don’t use your family vacation pictures from Disney World, unless of course you work for Disney.
  16. If you’re sharing documents or any type of files in your virtual meeting, it’s best to have them already & ready to share than trying to look for them during your meeting. It can also prevent you sharing things on your computer that were not intended to be shared. (I’ll leave that up to your imagination).
  17. And this should go without saying, DO NOT take your phone or device into the bathroom during a video conference. Even if you think you are muted/blocked, don’t take that chance! ☺

Hope these tips are useful in helping you create better video conferences. Shereck Video is here for all of your virtual corporate and legal deposition solutions. See you on the web!

Why Use Drones at Your Company Event

drone at company event

Drones are the hottest new piece of technology to have at events and they provide enormous benefits, from helping with the pre-event planning to providing unique material for your marketing afterward. We’ve laid out below some of the top reasons why you should consider including a drone in your next company event.

1. Drones Give Great Marketing Material

Drones capture a unique angle when taking video–the bird’s eye view. Sweeping and expansive, this aerial perspective creates a sense of wonder and beauty for the viewer. Videos and photos taken from drones are perfect to use in your marketing materials, whether on your website, social media platforms, images in a brochure, and more! You can also share videos and photos as promotional material for your event to get people interested and excited!

2. Drones Help With Planning Your Event

Drones don’t just have to take video during your event–they can take video in the planning stages so you can get a good sense of the different venue options. This way, you don’t have to rely on memory or a few photographs to help you compare places. You can show the videos to your whole planning committee and make an informed decision based both on your notes and a comprehensive visual presentation of each venue choice. Drones can also often create maps–including 3D maps–of locations, which can help you in planning some of the logistics of your event.

3. Live Stream Your Event

With drones, you can livestream your event to your clients and on social media for all those who can’t attend. Live streaming creates excitement about and engagement with your company, and allows those who can’t make it to feel like they are there, and can even bring your viewers “backstage” or “behind the scenes.” You can also use livestreaming to build up excitement for your event in the days preceding it.

4. Create Hotspots

Drones at your company event can act as hotspots for boosted internet service. If you feel that is something that is important to your guests–or if you are doing a presentation during the event that relies on a strong internet connection, you may want to consider using a drone as an internet hotspot.

5. Safety and Security

Drones don’t just video your event for entertainment and marketing. Their video capabilities allow them to act as useful surveillance cameras, as well. Drones can also monitor weather conditions by testing and keeping track of the atmosphere and can alert you if an unsafe or undesirable weather event is imminent. This is especially useful if your event is outdoors.
Drones are relatively new and they are becoming smarter and more versatile as time goes on. There are many drone regulations in place for safety and privacy reasons and they differ from state to state, so you need to do your research before using a drone or before hiring a company to pilot a drone for you. At Shereck Video, our professionals are certified to use drones and are up to date on all the regulations in place to make sure drones at your event are used safely and legally. Contact us if you want to learn more about this exciting service!

How Using Video In The Courtroom Can Lead to a Win

Video in the courtroom helps your arguments stand out!

Using video in the courtroom is instrumental in helping lawyers make a strong, well-organized case.  Videos help better illustrate points in an argument and create a more meaningful impact on the jury. Statistically, people remember only 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, and, amazingly, 70% of what they both see and hear.  By using video, you are both able to help your evidence stand out and make your audience more sympathetic to your case. Here are just a few ways that you can use video to strengthen your case.    

Illustrate Your Arguments

Video helps you show exactly what you mean during an argument.  For example, instead of explaining how your quadriplegic client needs daily assistance, you can show on screen a video of your client struggling to perform daily tasks. In the video, one can see all the difficulty your client undergoes in a task that most take for granted, stirring an emotional response in the viewer.  No matter how eloquent of a speaker you are, showing your jury your point through video helps them both understand and sympathize with you better. They are also much more likely to remember this piece of evidence when deciding on a verdict.    

Record Video Depositions

A video deposition is simply a deposition that involves a videographer to record the deposition.  During a case, video depositions are invaluable; cases can last months, even years, making it difficult for witnesses to remember what they said. Video depositions prove what was said if the witness doesn’t remember or lies on the stand. The witness cannot state they did not say something if it’s on video. A lawyer has the option to continually refer to this video evidence whenever needed throughout the case.  Video depositions are a must-have for every case.   

Document Daily Living Videos

Daily living videos create an animated portrait of your client, allowing you to depict the newfound struggle that the client must undergo and gain sympathy from your audience.  Daily living videos in the courtroom highlight how difficult performing even the simplest tasks are while also portraying how a client simultaneously seeks their independence. Such a portrayal allows the audience to emotionally connect with the client, and even more so when the client succeeds at fulfilling a difficult yet routine task such as getting dressed, going to the store, or cooking a meal.

Through video, the viewers become educated on what it’s really like to live with a debilitating injury or condition, something they might not understand through a verbal argument alone.  Most jurors have no idea of the little details involved in traumatic injuries, and video helps them understand the gravity of the client’s situation. These types of videos can help the client get awarded more money because of the sympathetic connection made using a video.  A lawyer is also likely to get a settlement faster when the defense counsel sees how the client’s life has been affected.  

Give Courtroom Presentations

A technological courtroom presentation drastically increases the jurors’ ability to understand the case.  In a study conducted by B. Dixon Jr. for the National Center for State Courts, 94% of jurors agreed or strongly agreed that the use of technology “improved their ability to serve as a juror in this case,” and 86% of surveyed jurors agreed that technology used to display exhibits and play audio increased their understanding of evidence presented in the case.  A courtroom presentation provides a visual representation of the message that the lawyer is trying to convey in an impactful and meaningful way and, while not exclusively a video per se, this visual presentation does include video components that help the jurors better understand the case.

The use of technology is often necessary for presenting openings, exhibits, demonstratives, and video depositions. Having an expert in this software run the presentation is recommended to make sure the litigator can make a clear argument that doesn’t confuse the jurors.  A professional certified in legal videography can not only help you run your courtroom presentation but will also help you use the software to put together document images, photographs, graphics, video, animation, and other exhibits into a clear and convincing courtroom presentation. 

Video in the Courtroom Makes an Impact 

Using video and images in your court case will convey a stronger argument and help you make a greater impact on your audience.  Shereck Video Services can create any video that you need for your case as well as help you put together, with advanced technology, a courtroom presentation.   Video is no longer optional but mandatory in a world where people are used to engaging screens daily. Let us help you make a stronger case with video.

The Top Three Reasons Why Activities of Daily Living Videos Are So Powerful

Activities of Daily Living: man learning to use a walker.

What are Activities of Daily Living?

Activities of Daily Living include any actions we take each day in order to function. For example, preparing food for one’s self, using the bathroom, taking a shower, and getting dressed. These are actions many of us take for granted. However, if someone becomes seriously injured, that person may suddenly be unable to adequately perform some or all of these tasks for themselves, requiring expensive help in the home. The person also likely experiences a form of mourning and depression over the loss of his or her independence.

How Will a Video Documenting Activities of Daily Living Help a Case in Court?

1. It builds an understanding of the needs of your client. Even though the jury may hear details of your client’s injuries and consequent disabilities, it makes a world of difference to actually see those limitations on a video. The jury members will be able to visualize the struggles your client goes through in order to complete simple tasks, and will come to a better understanding of the scope of how your client’s life has been impacted by his or her injuries.

2. Video will illuminate the costs required to pay for necessary help. Jury members will be able to see all the help required by your client to accomplish simple tasks as well as to regain independence. Between home help, therapies, nurse visits, and more, the expense of being injured adds up quickly and there’s no better way to hit the point home than by showing it on video.

3. It creates an emotional connection to your client. Hearing about your client’s injuries cannot be compared to physically watching your client struggle to regain independence. After jury members see how hard your client works to perform daily tasks both with help and independently, they will likely be touched on an emotional level, making them more likely to be sympathetic toward your client when it comes time to make decisions.

Video is one of the most powerful tools we have in our arsenal. The expert Certified Legal Video Specialists (CLVS) at Shereck Video work closely with you to make sure you get the high-quality legal videos you need. The next time you have a case involving Activities of Daily Living, make sure to get them on video to make your case even stronger!