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Be the best presenter you can

Written on November 16, 2017 at 3:20 pm, by

 
After more than 37 years of eating out of every bowl of dog food in the equation (End-User, AV Integrator and Manufacturer), I have watched presentations and the technology used evolve from tin can & string to NASA technology.

 

By no fault of anyone involved, 8 out of 10 primary “presenters” in fact have drawn the short straw and are as nervous as cats when they walk up to the podium. And, for all the advancements and money we spend to outfit a conference room with the best ClearOne equipment money can buy, it will only work as good as the person speaking and how prepared they are.

 

So, this is the first installment of just a few of the best practices and common sense tips I’ve picked up from hundreds of articles and real world experience along the ways to improve your presentation:

 

  1. Realize 90% of Nervousness Doesn’t Show: The audience usually can’t see the butterflies, or shaky hands, or sweaty palms. The problem occurs when we start thinking about these symptoms rather than focusing on the audience and our topic. By human nature, most people are focused on themselves not on you. Focus on them and two things will happen: 1) they will like you more, and 2) much of the nervousness that you feel will go away.

 

  1. Butterflies are Normal: At this point, as you practice, you might start to feel butterflies in your stomach or other symptoms of public speaking fear. Don’t worry. This is normal. However, as you practice once or twice, the nervousness should drop pretty dramatically.

 

  1. Learn from Mistakes: When you or your team has challenges, tell the story about the challenge or mistake, and then add the moral at the end to show how you learned from it. A lot of times, this can add some self-deprecating humor as well.

 

  1. Lose Train of Thought?If you lose your train of thought and feel some panic, then one of a couple of things might be happening. You likely have a bunch of bullet points that are difficult to remember. If so, go back through the earlier tips and design your speech differently. If you are feeling light headed and confused, though…

 

  1. Energy and Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is the absolute most important public speaking secret. If you have energy and enthusiasm, your audience will love you. Be excited about your topic, and your audience will be excited about your presentation.

 

  1. Talk with Your Hands: We all naturally speak with our hands, but for some reason, when we stand up to speak, we tend lock up our body language and lose a lot of our natural energy. Drop your hands when you start a speech, then use them to explain you points. (By the way, if you tell a lot of stories, this will happen naturally.)

 

  1. Make Your Gestures Bigger than Your Body: Small gestures below the shoulders and close to your body make you look weak and timid. The higher and wider your gestures are, the more confident you appear. When we get nervous, we want a barrier between us and the threat, so the small gestures show the audience that you are threatened by them. Make the gestures bigger.

 

  1. Breathe: When we get nervous, we tend to breathe more shallowly. When this happens, the speaker will not have enough oxygen which makes the panic even greater… Which alters the breathing even more. When you feel this happening, just stop, and take a deep breath from the diaphragm. To keep this from happening, take a nice deep breath before you say your first sentence.

 

  1. Props can Add Showmanship: When legislators were trying to get people upset about the healthcare legislation in 2009, they just printed out the thousands of documents that made up the bill. The piles and piles of unreadable pages was pretty overwhelming and made a valid point. When I was starting out teaching leadership classes, I found a toy that was a tiny shipping box that, when I pushed a button, shook and said, “Let me out of here!” I used it as a prop when I talked about self-confidence saying, “we all have that confident person inside of us who is struggling to get out and be seen.”

 

  1. Have a Contest: Divide the audience into small groups and have a contest of some kind. This could be a test to see what they remember from the speeches from previous presenters or it could be a contest to see who can come up with the most creative solution to a challenge or problem that you are experiencing. Get creative, because people learn more when they are having fun

 

The Seven Deadly Sins of Presenting
 

  1. Thou Shan’t Not Go Overtime without Consent
  2. To “uh” is Human, but Too Many is Annoying
  3. Thou Shall Not Speak Monotone
  4. Thou Shall Not Use Shop-Talk
  5. Thou Shall Not Speak Whilst the Audience Reads Thy Slide
  6. Thou Shall Not Read Endless Excerpts to Thine Audience
  7. Thou Shall Not Dump Endless Data Upon Thine Audience

 
The good news is that if you follow the prior tips, you will never violate any of these deadly sins!
 
 
 

And It Was Good

Written on November 3, 2017 at 4:09 pm, by

 

 

Day 1, Let there be light.  I know, that’s not the Genesis order of creation, but it sounds good and it leads me to my real Day 1 scenario.  Day 1…let there be a friend.

 

Did you remember starting something new and exciting but having a lot of fear too because of all the unknowns?   Going to a summer swim camp at age 6 and staying away from home for 5 days.  Leaving home to move to Gainesville for my first day at University of Florida.  My first day on the new job after 27 years at the old one.

 

What was so scary about these experiences?   I didn’t know anyone.   I was there alone, not knowing a single friendly face.  That can be traumatic.   Looking back, maybe I shouldn’t have been so on edge, but even writing about it now takes me back to those feelings and it isn’t pleasant.

 

I now have the solution, and I just used it to hopefully help another poor soul avoid some of the unnecessary angst.  It’s called Video Conferencing.  Yes, who knew it could be such a useful tool to get rid of the Day 1 jitters.

 

It is my, or our department’s task, to on-board new employees.   It is normally a week of training at the home office which, since many of our employees are remote ones, is not their home city.  I, become the first person to really meet our new comrade-in-arms, and consequently, I have the opportunity to start this new relationship off well…or not so well.

 

Before it starts for them with a flight to a new city, a new hotel, a new office, I choose to start it with a Spontania video conference call.  Looking and sounding normal, like I am right there in front of him or her, is important to building openness and starting to build a relationship. All I needed was their phone number.  I call, introduce myself, and verify that they have access to a computer.  I send them a link to join me in my virtual conference room.  I just did this again yesterday.

 

In 5 minutes time, we were face to face in each other’s home office.  We got to know each other quickly and became more than a name or position.  Just as important, I was able to talk him through his first 24 hours on the job.  He knows his entire schedule from walking down the jet way, to getting his luggage and a shuttle to the hotel; where to eat; how to find the office the next morning; AND who to ask for when he shows up on Day 1… me, a friendly face he already knows.

 

With Spontania on my computer and my Chat 50 at my side for amazing audio, I made a difference.  This is just one example of the power of quality video conferencing.   Spontania gives easy access to meetings for people in and out of your organization.  For smaller meetings, just add a Chat microphone to your computer and go for it.  For larger meetings, you can add multiple video cameras, up to 4, and Converge Pro 2 to meet the audio demands of larger rooms so that everyone can be heard in a natural and normal conversation.  Invite up to 25 people to join remotely from inside or outside your organization. They can even use their smart phone to join with a free app.  You can share media, spreadsheets, pictures, or just show live video to all.

 

The applications will vary as much as you who are reading this vary.   Job interviews, on-the-job training, project management, weekly meetings, just to name a few that I use all the time.  I am the remote employee that doesn’t feel remote.  And, I can help remove the Day 1 trauma for others.  Welcome to our new reality.

 

 

Flexible Frequencies – Versatility and Security of ClearOne Wireless Mic Systems

Written on September 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm, by

View for yourself the power behind the WS800 Wireless Microphone System, and join such discriminating users as the U.S. Department of Justice.

ClearOne’s WS800 Wireless Micophone System is the most economical, versatile, and easily scalable wireless system in the market today with unprecedented ease-of-use and simple installation.

 

This system has a Receiver, all types of Transmitters (Microphones) Boundary Tabletop, Gooseneck Podium, Beltpack, Handheld Microphones, Charging Station and Extension Antenna kits. WS800 Receiver comes with and without Dante built-in audio networking.

 

The WS800 and DIALOG® 20 systems complement other professional audio products from ClearOne including CONVERGE® Pro 1 & 2 Mixers, INTERACT® Mixers, and CONVERGE® Matrix products.

 

Learn more about the WS800 Wireless Microphone System today!

 

 

ClearOne’s Unique Solution to Comb Filtering Issues in a Conference Room

Written on July 27, 2017 at 4:41 pm, by

 

In conferencing situations, it is quite possible that multiple microphones at different distances may gate on for a single person’s voice. Due to the delay time in traveling to the more distant mic, peaks and notches are created in the frequency response of the mixed signal called “comb filtering, “causing a hollow, distant feeling; like sound traveling through a tunnel.

 

This will reduce the intelligibility of voice transmitted to the far end during a conference call.

 

We at ClearOne deal with this problem in a unique way, by implementing our very effective First-Mic-Priority Algorithm to our Audio Conferencing solutions.

 

First-Mic Priority  helps maintain maximum audio intelligibility by allowing only one mic to gate on a participant’s voice. The algorithm does allow more than one microphone to be activated at same time— but it simply restricts mics from gating on to the same audio source. The first-mic priority feature evaluates each channel and  only allows the microphone with the loudest pickup to gate on.

 

If this feature is disabled, users will notice the undesirable effect of two or more microphones gate on when only one person speaks. Keeping the First-Mic Priority feature enabled in your mixer configuration which will translate into a cleaner pickup of voices with less “phasing” of the audio.

 

Take a look at CONVERGE® Pro 2 and hear the best quality in the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate AV Should Be Exceptional

Written on May 26, 2017 at 11:35 am, by

 

Corporate AV has become ubiquitous in almost every setting, as digital devices seem to be constantly in-hand, and the expectations of immediacy and flexibility in sharing information is driving our business decisions more than ever. Meetings with remote participants have evolved not only to include video with an unfailing audio foundation; but also the flexibility to share content from multiple people— and multiple devices —with an assumed ease-of-use.

 

Flexible Cloud and Room systems are the key to true adoption, and efficient remote meetings in which key decisions can be made. Users require the full gamut of media collaboration from rich video and web conferencing Cloud-only services, to total solutions for huddle spaces and conference rooms that also include Cloud plus multi-user wireless presentation, recording and streaming, traditional video conferencing— all with audio conferencing & PTZ camera endpoints. Solutions for “bring-your-own familiar app” are a new necessity for true adoption of conferencing spaces.

 

For conference spaces to truly be used to their full potential, systems need to include Cloud access, as well as flexible and intuitive room systems with built-in Cloud collaboration; the foundation of ClearOne’s COLLABORATE® Pro and Spontania. With true ease-of-use and flexibility, conference spaces become busy and utilized for small ad-hoc meetings and large, formal meetings alike. User needs are satisfied- from the ability to share content from more than one person simultaneously, to more flexibility for content sharing with smartphones and tablets. The ClearOne lineup delivers a host of features that are right-sized for any collaboration space or need.

 

This InfoComm International infographic (used with permission) hits some key points in this burgeoning age of video collaboration, the need for flexible systems that can handle audio conferencing, traditional video conferencing, Cloud video collaboration with familiar web applications, BYOD, wireless presentation, and even the needs for recording and streaming. We’ve become so attuned to video, that we stay more focused when non-verbal visual cues are present in meetings – with a higher likelihood of watching video or visual content than reading documents.

 

 

 

 

 

Huddle Rooms – A New Term For A Classic Concept

Written on May 11, 2017 at 11:05 am, by

 

The term ‘Huddle Room’ is relatively new…the concept, not so much.

 

We’ve been equipping spaces used for video collaboration for several years and we’ve seen all it all, from small utility closets outfitted with folding chairs to world class large venues.

 

Huddle rooms are simply 2- to 4-person conference rooms outfitted with audio, video, and display technology. They’re often used by small groups for quick collaboration on projects with the aim of a more focused work environment with flexible and easy-to-use hardware and software that enables the team a quick way exchange ideas, images, video and other data.

 

Now businesses have the option to design extravagant boardrooms with the latest technology for premier sound and crystal-clear video which is impressive for new hires and potential clients or they can create several huddle rooms for their collaboration needs. Some organizations adopt both conference space options for the ultimate atmosphere of communication and innovation.

 

Huddle rooms are great for flexibility; where a team can meet immediately with remote clients and/or colleagues. Communication is more focused and involved in a smaller setting which makes members of the group more attentive and ultimately more productive. Finally, huddle rooms are great for their low cost of entry; and depending on the needs of the organization creating it, they’re easy to equip.

 

As businesses find ways to lower their budgets, it looks as though huddle rooms are the future of collaboration…..or in our world, small conference spaces that have always existed and have already collaborated with the future.

 

See how our COLLABORATE® Pro Series, integrated with our  full line of UC Voice and Pro Audio solutions, creates a flexible platform that can drive small huddle rooms as well as be able to scale to a large scale, professional conference spaces.

 

Let us know your thoughts on huddle rooms and if you think they’re here to stay or just a modern trend on a classic concept.

 

 

Wireless Presentation Gone Mainstream

Written on April 5, 2017 at 10:58 am, by

 

You probably get this familiar type of call quite frequently:

 

Mr. Customer is searching for a wireless data-sharing solution – and the strangest part is that he may reference a specific brand-name of solution instead of the technology itself.

 

Those of us who are not quite so young anymore might remember those types of calls, in the end of last century, when customers were inquiring about a specific brand of conferencing solution when a more general executive phone was actually needed for simple audio-conferencing activities.

 

That is a sign that a technology has “made it.” It has gone mainstream!

 

One vendor discovered and delivered a much-needed new product concept in the market, found a new intuitive and natural way in which people can collaborate. A new niche, a new opportunity for business has surfaced.

 

Wireless data sharing became a fundamental component in meeting rooms of the new millennium. Employees and business guests expect it…it should simply be there for agile and productive collaboration.

 

And now Mr. Customer calls in, knowing he should be prepared to spend a couple thousand for even the most basic configuration – all his budget will allow.

 

What Mr. Customer does not know yet, and you may want to inform him, is that the wireless-data-sharing-box concept he is looking for has been by far surpassed by the new outstanding ClearOne COLLABORATE® Share!

 

For almost the same price, Mr. Customer would receive so many features that a sophisticated sales pitch simply isn’t needed. With COLLABORATE® Share, he is not only increasing the potential of his buy, but he is also getting, basically for free, a state-of-the-art H.323 codec and cloud collaboration suite – all three fully integrated in one, simple, intuitive user and administration interface.

 

Help your client take their media collaboration to the next level.  LEARN MORE about ClearOne COLLABORATE® Share.

 

 

Visit Us and Take a Look at What We’re Showing at ISE 2017

Written on February 8, 2017 at 4:48 pm, by

 

What to See at ISE 2017 – Booth 3-C98!

 

 

We continue to meet with Value-added Resellers and end-users on the ISE show floor; finding new ways to implement solutions and support end-users with the technologies and applications that really help them to succeed. A busy show means many notes to bring back to the people behind ClearOne- real feedback from  AV practitioners – creating solutions that keep people connected. We value this time and this input to continue pushing ahead for innovation and real problem-solving with integrated solutions that make organizations and voice and visual communications that simply work.

 

See the videos of ClearOne’s newest products- on display now at ISE.

 

 

Stop by our booth 3-C98 and let us show you all the latest updates and product developments!

 

We look forward to seeing you!

 

 

 

 

A better Video Conference User-Experience with Spontania’s Simultaneous Four-Camera Support

Written on February 1, 2017 at 7:30 am, by

 

With video conferencing becoming a necessity for most corporate, SMB, education and other organizations, how do the various Video Conferencing solutions really differentiate themselves from one another?

 

They all make the promise of being simple and intuitive; allowing you to save money and time by avoiding hundreds of miles of travel. They offer popular features like content sharing, recording, and even whiteboarding.  But despite the promises, the reality was, for many remote participants, these solutions just weren’t maximizing on the video conferencing experience. Many participants found that by being remote, it was easier for them to become distracted and lose focus. Some users were so busy, they often found themselves multi-tasking and weren’t even focused on the meeting. And for others, doing a remote video call was just plain boring.

 

 

So how can you eliminate that feeling? What if you were able to provide your remote users a feeling of being on-premises, of actually being there in that conference room or classroom with everyone else,so that they could see everything and everyone, and truly feel like part of the meeting?

 

How do you create that feeling for remote users, all hundreds of miles away?

 

 

We do this with Spontania’s ability to capture 4 simultaneous camera views. Far-end participants now see everything that’s going on, giving them the feeling of actually being there in the classroom or conference room.

 

Here’s a training scenario for using 4 cameras:

 

One camera is pointed toward the front of the room, to see the instructor’s every move.

 

A 2nd camera is pointed at the attendees, so if a question is asked, the remote participant can see who’s asking it instead of just hearing it.

 

A 3rd camera can be pointed at a whiteboard for instructors who prefer to make quick notes by hand, an ASL interpreter, or any other angle that adds to the overall experience.  The participant now can see what’s written in real time and take notes accordingly.

 

The 4th camera can be a document camera. So, if the instructor needs to show an object to the class, the far-end participants won’t struggle with just having a minimal view. The instructor simply positions the object under the doc cam and the remote participants see it up-close; as if they were there in the room.

 

spontania-4-camera-use-case-diagram-v2

Click to Enlarge

 

 

This is just one use-case example ; you can use 4 cameras to provide a multi-view product demo or even set them up for a full 360 degree views.

 

The possibilities are endless.

 

Whether you’re a business, a university, a law firm, or just have a huge conference room, the 4-camera support included with the Spontania Video Collaboration platform is an instant professional experience for your participants, clients, students, colleagues, and end-users.

 

Video conferencing software and hardware is an investment, so why not take advantage and get the best value with that investment?

 

Your far-end participants will thank you.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Spontania as a video collaboration solution, contact us today and let’s discuss how we can help you and your organization be the best video collaborators on the planet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silicon Review Article- Providing the most reliable voice and visual communication solutions to the world: ClearOne

Written on January 18, 2017 at 10:51 am, by

 

ClearOne was honored to be part of Silicon Review’s 2016  “50 Best Work Places of the Year” edition.  The interview with President and CEO, Zee Hakimoglu, provided more insight into ClearOne and the way in which they continue to disrupt a market full of much larger competitors by focusing on innovation.

 

Read the full article here.