Tags: skype

5 Video Tips for Work-From-Home Skype Interviews

5 Video Tips for Work-From-Home Skype Interviews

Beyond • April 30, 2014

Your workspace is 10 feet away, but your employer is 100 miles away. Your uniform is a T-shirt, jeans, or whatever you feel like wearing at the moment. Your preferred method of contact is chat with a little bit of email mixed in. And now your employer or client wants you to step outside your comfort zone and do something terrifying: Have a video meeting. While working out on the fringes, it’s easy to forget that at some point you exist beyond your latest email missive or chat volley. Here are five ways to optimize your Skype calls and make your video meetings both painless and professional: Light it up Whether your Skype call is ultra-short or really, really long, you will be judged based on the brightness of your workspace. Go for natural light or multiple lamps to lighten up your room, but make sure you’re not so backlit that you look like a silhouette. Mind your six Before you start your call, check for anything that looks weird in the background. Books stacked haphazardly on a shelf, spots on walls, or even piles of clean laundry in the background will give you an air of unprofessionalism. Think office, not bedroom. Clear up bandwidth When your digital clock, tablet and cell phone all share your wireless connection, the quality of your Skype calls are destined to suffer. Do more than close unnecessary programs on your laptop or desktop, look around for outside devices that can erode the quality of your video meeting. Wear nice pants I know it’s tempting to put on a nice shirt and throw on sweatpants. Don’t. Will you have to stand up during your Skype call? Probably not, but if something unexpected happens – earthquake, doorbell, urgent bathroom break – you’ll curse yourself if you’re wearing raggy pants. Sit up straight Let’s face it: body language matters, even during Skype calls. You’ll want to project confidence, but if your camera sits at the perfect height and you’re channeling Oscar the Slouch, you’re simply going to look bad. Sit up straight at all times and whoever you’re speaking with will notice how professional you look. There are just as many tips to make great Skype calls as there are ways to make your conference calls fall flat. These five are just the basics, but they should definitely improve the quality and professionalism of your face-to-face meeting.


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Voice Over Internet (VOI) Programs that Can Boost Your Business

Beyond • June 21, 2011

Doing business has been revolutionized by both technology and globalization – and this applies most significantly to small business owners. Let’s start with Etsy as a quick small business case study. Etsy is a website that started out small as an “e-bay” type of model for crafters that wanted to sell their homemade crafts and goods. Fast forward a few years and Etsy is an e-commerce titan allowing thousands to sell and a few select hundred to make a fortune from it. The more important underlying message here is that the most remote person offering a custom product can be successful with the right technology that reaches out to a global audience. I bet you’re now asking, “What does this have to do with voice over internet programs?” Two Business Benefits of Voice Over Internet Programs Voice over internet has done the same thing and caters to small business owners in two key ways. First, it’s made communicating extremely cheap if not free. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on phone calls across the states or to other parts of the world, you can now make those calls for free. Secondly, it allows you to present yourself to far away business associates and clients in as close to in-person as you can get without actually being there. Telecommuting is a reality; both small and big businesses are doing it. So if you’re a small business owner that relies on services, VOI programs allow you to present yourself in a way that cuts the distance that comes with telecommuting. But more importantly, VOI programs allow you to have face time with other businesses and decision makers, which let’s you establish a relationship that ensures greater confidence in both you and your business. VOI programs continue to be used by e-commerce sites for ‘live” customer service, for business meetings and for training and development. How Voice Over Internet Works VOI takes analog audio signals that you’d normally hear when you talk on the phone and turns them into digital data that gets transmitted over the internet. The software became a household item for immigrant families that could now reconnect with loved ones back home for free by bypassing the phone company entirely. Voice Over Internet is divided into three main systems: ATA, IP Phones and Computer-to-Computer. ATA (Analog telephone adapter) lets you connect a standard landline phone to your computer or internet connection for use with VOI. The way it works is that it takes your analog signal off your phone and converts it into digital data over the internet. IP Phones on the other hand look like normal phones but have an ethernet connector; the phones connect to your computer allowing you to make calls from any location that has an internet signal you can tap into. And finally, more commonly known computer-to-computer systems only need a microphone, speakers and sound card in addition to an internet signal. Leading Voice Over Internet Programs To get started, check out some of these leading VOI programs. Whichever you decide on, make sure you acquaint yourself with the program and do a couple of test runs before running real-time VOI meetings across the globe. PeopleLink – Small businesses that are ready to take it to the next step should take a serious look at PeopleLink, which offers advanced hosting and software/hardware solutions. PeopleLink has a serious competitive advantage, including allowing multi party video conferencing that lets you connect to multiple locations at one time. For example, you could host a meeting with 10 people in 10 different locations, at one time. Other features include greater attendee capacity (over 1,000) and intra-conference chats. I recommend starting by checking out their video conferencing FAQs. Fring – Fring is great for those interested in group video calls without the higher cost. With Fring, you can host free group video calls, voice calls and live chat. The downside is that this application is exclusive to mobile phones with custom apps for iPhones and Androids. Google Voice – Not allowing for video chats but great for companies that want a designated office line without the cost. Google Voice lets you create a unique number that is directed to your phone, gives you online voicemail and allows free calls and text messages within North America. Skype – You may have heard of Skype, but aren’t sure exactly what it does. This leading VOI provider offers free video calls to anywhere across the globe, and extremely inexpensive phone calls to landlines and mobiles for as little as 2.3 cents a minute (cheaper with a subscription to the service). I recommend taking advantage of Skype’s free video calls and making valuable face time with clients and business decision makers. Vonage - Offers Voice over IP (VoIP) communication that lets you make phone calls using your internet and existing home line. Having used this service, I’d note that its core benefit is in cheaper rates and transcribed voicemails that are sent to you via emails and text messages.


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Support Update: Disabling Skype Browser Extensions

Support Update: Disabling Skype Browser Extensions

Beyond • June 13, 2011

With over 663 million registered users, Skype has become the go-to choice for video conferencing, long-distance voice calls and chat in both the business and personal environment. Despite all its benefits, however, Skype can wreak havoc on the correspondence of the web-based email user. Have you ever noticed this: begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (418) 555-1234 end_of_the_skype_highlighting Around a phone number in a web page or email? Chances are, you have the Skype plugin for browsers installed, which adds HTML formatting to phone numbers and Skype names to allow Skype users to make one-click phone calls from their browser. If \"begin_of_the_skype_highlighting\" tags are getting you down, put an end to the skype highlighting with these simple steps. Internet Explorer In Internet Explorer, open the \"Tools\" menu in the upper right and click on \"Manage Add-ons.\" Then, click on the Skype plugin from the list of extensions and click the \"Disable\" button on the lower right. Mozilla Firefox In Mozilla Firefox, open the \"Tools\" menu in the menu bar and click on \"Add-ons.\" Then, find the Skype plugin in the list of extensions and click the \"Disable\" button. Google Chrome In Google Chrome, open the Wrench Menu in the top right and select \"Tools\" and then \"Extensions.\" Then, find the Skype plugin in the list of extensions and click the \"Disable\" link. These steps will also allow you to completely remove the Skype plugin if you wish. For other browsers (Safari, Opera, etc.), find the \"add-ons\" or \"extensions\" menu and follow the same steps.


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Email Party with Permission – The Weekly Wrap

Email Party with Permission – The Weekly Wrap

Beyond • December 10, 2010

You\'ve probably heard the saying, \"He who dies with the most toys wins.\" Check this week\'s wrap to find out why the one with the biggest list isn\'t necessarily the winner. It was another busy week. There are all sorts of holidays, new features and tips and tricks to keep you occupied until those holiday vacation days at the end of the month. But there is one party you can have before then... Time to Have a Party! An Email Readability Party! Readability is important for the success of an email campaign. With such a wide variety of technology between desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones, it is harder than ever to design an email campaign. That\'s why it\'s Time to Have a Party! An Email Readability Party! When Bigger is Not Better The biggest list is not always the best list. You want the people who want to hear from you on there. Good list hygiene is important. Find out When Bigger is Not Better. Permission to Contact? It\'s How You Ask That Counts Permission shouldn\'t just be an issue of yes or no. Tell potential subscribers why you want to contact them and let them choose how often they\'d like to receive emails from you. Remember, email marketing works best when you have a good product, a good message and a good (and willing) customer. Do you have Permission to Contact? It\'s How You Ask That Counts. \'Tis the Season We\'ve got all your holiday email templates for you. Before you get to the present-giving ones like Christmas, celebrate culture and togetherness with Kwanzaa and those who defend human rights on Human Rights Day. Bells and Whistles: Check Out These Great Features! Discover how to Manage Multiple Email Accounts with Benchmark\'s Sub-Account Feature. Be sure to take advantage of our Features Request forum. Suggest great ideas like: Clean List Feature which Adds Polish to Your Email Campaigns. HTML Tips & Tricks - Resizing Headers You don\'t have to know how to use HTML to use Benchmark Email. Some people like to. Here\'s some simple HTML Tips & Tricks on Resizing Headers, if you\'d like to give it a shot. The Skype Conundrum It\'s a wide array of digital tools that comprise our office toolbox, and Skype, a boon to estranged co-workers, is at the top of the pile. But if you\'ve noticed a bug with Skype\'s auto-fill function, rest easy; you\'re not alone. This one\'s a simple fix. Find out how to solve The Skype Conundrum.


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Support Update: The Skype Conundrum

Support Update: The Skype Conundrum

Beyond • December 6, 2009

It\'s a wide array of digital tools that comprise our office toolbox, and Skype, a boon to estranged co-workers, is at the top of the pile. But if you\'ve noticed a bug with Skype\'s auto-fill function, rest easy; you\'re not alone. This one\'s a simple fix. The Problem A client, let\'s call him Bob, is creating an email list. When he gets to his customer\'s contact information, he wants to enter a telephone number. But as he types the number, the box automatically inserts a Skype contact option. This might not be so bad, except the number does not translate through his test emails. In fact, it just repeats the Skype multiple times, highlighted, with random characters appearing next to the phone numbers like some sort of hieroglyphic train wreck. Obviously, Bob (and the rest of us) would like to enter contact numbers without this hassle. The Fix I have good news and bad news. The good news is, this isn\'t a Benchmark malfunction. The bad news: you need to reinstall Skype. Originally, there was a check box choice when Skype was downloaded that could prevent this issue. But the problem can easily be solved by following the instructions below. Step 1 Uninstall Skype. Once you\'ve gone through that process, reinstall it, and uncheck the Google boxes. Step 2 Continue the download. Step 3 Once you\'ve downloaded Skype, go to your Skype Options and click on the Advanced Settings tab. There is now an option to remove Skype highlighting for phone numbers. Just uncheck the box that says \"Use Skype to call callto: links on the web.\" Skype should no longer automatically insert the numbers and you, and Bob, are back in action.


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