Would you say that you’re an expert when it comes to video calls?
It’s been almost two years since the beginning of the pandemic and the rise of Zoom. And yet, from lagging internet connections to people who don’t know they are on mute, video conference calls can still be a frustrating experience!
Lower quality video calls might be fine if you’re having a casual chat with friends, but if you’re one-on-one or in a formal meeting, you should do your part to make sure that the experience is top-notch. This is even more important during a video therapy session. Your client is paying for your time, so they need to see and hear you as if you were in the same room as them.
Since we created our Video Therapy feature we’ve been working on improving call quality. However, as the person who is holding the call, you can also take a few simple steps to improve the call quality and ensure you’re giving your client the best video therapy experience possible! Here are our tips:
A Steady & Strong Internet Connection
As all Video Therapy sessions are on Owl Practice’s servers, we strive to ensure that you always get a solid connection. But unfortunately, there’s only so much we can do if the internet connection on your end isn’t reliable.
If you have a basic internet plan, you may want to look at getting a speed upgrade. While Video Therapy will work on most wifi signals, the video quality could buffer and break if your internet isn’t fast enough to transmit the data required for video and audio.
Similarly, if you experience frequent wifi disconnects on your devices, you should troubleshoot these issues with your internet provider before using Video Therapy.
We would also highly suggest avoiding utilizing your mobile data on your phone or tablet for video therapy calls. While the speed is more than sufficient for a call, the video and audio will burn through data caps rapidly. Make sure you use a trustworthy wifi signal before speaking to your clients on Video Therapy.
Use a Quality Camera and Mic
Even the fastest internet connection in the world won’t matter if you aren’t using a decent-quality webcam and microphone.
One reason why many video conference calls are not-so-great is because of poor image quality. A 720p built-in webcam might work well for personal calls, but it won’t work so well for professional calls. And if you are using old wired earbuds, your audio quality might be less than clear too.
If your laptop has a built-in camera, check the specs. If it doesn’t have a 1080p camera—at minimum—we would not recommend using it for a video therapy session.
Fortunately, there are many affordable 1080p USB webcams that offer excellent video quality. Purchase one, plug it in, and select it as the video source in the settings. This alone will dramatically improve the video experience for the people on the other end of your calls!
Another option to improve video quality is to use a device that already has a great built-in camera. For example, an iPad’s front-facing camera is more than sufficient for video calls. You could also use most recent cell phones to deliver quality video, but because holding the phone up to your face for an entire session can be tiring, we recommend using a dedicated webcam or a tablet with a solid built-in webcam.
In terms of audio quality, even if your wireless device or laptop has a built-in mic, we recommend buying a decent pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones with a mic. Not only will they instantly improve your audio quality in a Video Therapy call, but they’ll also free you from cords, allowing you more freedom of movement on the call.
Along with making sure you have great technology on your side, there are things you can change in your surroundings to improve the quality of your video therapy sessions.
First of all, take a look at what appears behind you on your calls. The goal is to minimize potential distractions. If there’s too much visual activity behind you, it can be highly distracting for your clients. For your background, we recommend a solid colour wall with little else on it, but something non-moving like a bookcase works well too.
Lighting is important on a professional video call. Investing in a ring light can help you effectively light your face and brighten the entire image. At the very least, you should make sure the room you are in is as bright and evenly lit as possible. You don’t want harsh light shining directly in your face, as that can blow out the image and make it hard to see your facial expressions. You simply want a light source in front of you to provide soft but bright lighting coverage.
Video therapy has rapidly gone from a niche feature to a must-have for mental health practitioners across the country. And if you want to make sure your video therapy sessions are fully secure, Owl Practice’s Video Therapy feature is, by far, your best option!
To experience everything else that Owl Practice has to offer, we invite you to sign up for a 14-day free trial. And if you have any other questions about our intake form features or comments about our services, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.