Hello, and welcome to our presentation about video calling options that you have in order to be able to connect with friends and family via video call. Now, most of us have a smartphone device and video calling is easier than ever but there’s actually a variety of ways that you can make a video call. And I wanna show you some of those today.

What Equipment is Needed for a Video Call?

What will you need to make a video call? Well, you’ll either need a computer like a laptop or a desktop or you’ll need a smartphone. And in either case you’re going to have to have internet connection for either of those. If you decide to use a desktop or a laptop instead of your smartphone you’re going to need some computer accessories like a webcam, a microphone and some speakers. The key here is that you need to but also see the caller. And you also need to be heard while being able to hear the caller. So you need to have all of those pieces of equipment in place and ready to go before you make your first video call.

Headphones for Privacy

Something that I like to mention at this point is there may be times when you make a video call where you want some privacy. So not everybody in the room can hear what’s going on. And a good option for this is to use either headphones or earbuds that have a built-in microphone with them. In fact, I use that as myself. I have earbuds that I use and I just plug in my ears and there is a small microphone device in this section here that hangs right about here like a lapel microphone. It acts like a lapel microphone. And I can just put these in my ears and just talk freely. The microphone I don’t have to hold up here or anything. It catches my voice very easily. So it’s a nice option if you don’t want everybody in the room to hear your conversation and it just gives you a little bit of privacy. So that is a nice option for folks instead of having to buy separate speakers and microphones. So also keep in mind that in some cases your webcam may have a microphone and speakers built-in. So check into that webcam if you need to buy a separate webcam. The other thing I wanna note is if you want to use a laptop, many laptops these days have webcams, microphones and speakers built right into them. But in some cases they don’t and you may need to buy an external webcam. So when you’re looking at buying a new laptop and video calling is important to you make sure and see if a webcam is included in that laptop or if it’s something that you’ll need to buy separately. In most cases, the webcams that are built right into the laptop are just the easiest way to make a quick video call if it’s built right in.

Internet Speed is Important

The other important factor that you’re going to need to make a good video call is at least one megabit per second of internet speed. And if you don’t know your internet speed that’s totally okay. That’s very normal that most people don’t know what speed they’re at. But you can actually visit a website called speedtest.net and do a quick test and see if you have very strong internet. If your internet isn’t that strong and it’s rather slow. In some cases, you can still make a video call. It just might be a little bit fuzzy but you’ll still be able to see the caller or you can choose to use your mobile data package on your smartphone to connect to the internet. And in most cases that’s gonna give you a nice strong signal as long as you have a good cellular signal. Which brings me to my next point, mobile data.

Using Your Smartphone could use lots of Mobile Data

If you choose to use your smartphone to make a video call you can actually be using a lot of mobile data. In some cases, it can be thousands of megabytes of data. And if you’re not on an unlimited data package with your cell phone provider, that can take up a lot of your data that you need to use throughout the month. So if you are wanting to use your smartphone and make a video call, I always recommend making sure that you’re connected to WiFi first and so that you don’t use up all that mobile data that is limited in some people’s cases. In my case, it is as well. So I’m always very careful with that. One thing that I like to do, if I’m on my smartphone making a video call, I’d like to turn off my mobile data just to make sure that I am using WiFi instead and I don’t get those overage charges from the cellular phone company. So this varies with, how to turn off your data varies by what type of phone that you have. And in some cases, what type of cellular provider you have. So I won’t go into the details how to do that over this presentation. However, ask someone to help you if you don’t know how to do this. And it usually is just a quick little button on your smartphone and you can make sure that you’re connected to WiFi before you make that video call. And then when you’re done with making that video call you can turn your mobile data back on, but this is just one of the tips and tricks that I like to use when making a video call on my smartphone.

Different Video Calling Software

Now let’s go over the different types of video call platforms. I actually took a screenshot of my phone here because in my case, my cellular phone provider actually provides a video calling feature built right into the phone. And I want to just show you what that looks like. When I go to the contacts on my phone I can see an option to call, text or video call that person right there from my phone. I don’t need a separate app. Now this will vary depending on your cell phone provider and also what apps you have available on your phone. So it may not be available to everybody, but if it is it’s a nice quick option to get going with video calling. The other options are FaceTime which is an Apple product and Google Meet or Google Duo. Google Meet is Google’s business class version of video calling and Google Duo is their free version of video calling that most people would use for casual conversations with family and friends. We’ve all heard of Zoom. And Zoom does have a free platform where you get up to 40 minutes of free video calling with up to three people at a time on any given time. So that’s kind of nice. They also have paid versions as well if you need to get more people or the longer meeting times. Skype is a popular option. It’s been around for many years. It’s a Microsoft product. And Skype also has a free version as well. And then there’s Facebook Messenger. And if you have a Facebook account you can easily set up Facebook Messenger. So you can either type and chat with someone over that. Or you can make a quick video call with that person. So if you have a Facebook account, that might be a really quick option to be able to get online quickly. Now all of these options have their pluses and minuses to them. And I won’t go into all the details of that during this presentation. But to me I think you should pick the one that you’re most comfortable with. And also the one that fits your equipment. For example, FaceTime is only available to Apple users. So if you don’t have an iPhone or a Mac and the person that you want to talk to does not have an iPhone or Mac it won’t be a good option for you. Now Google’s products do work on either PC or Macs or Android phones. So they work on all platforms as well as Zoom, Facebook Messenger and Skype. So there are different platforms for everybody’s equipment. And how exactly do you get these platforms? Well, you simply go to either the Apple App Store or you can go to the Google Play Store and you do a search for those key terms whichever one you’d like to try and download. And I brought these up because a lot of the icons actually look the same. And so the multicolored one here is Facebook Messenger. And of course, Zoom here. Well, the one that my face is partially covering is the Skype logo. And again, that’s a Microsoft product. And then this one here is Apple’s version of FaceTime. And you won’t see this, unless you have an Apple phone you won’t see FaceTime pop-up as an option for video calling. And then Google’s version, their Duo is this blue one here. And you can see how similar it is to the other. So it can be rather confusing. But there are many other options out there in addition to these. So this is not a comprehensive list by any means but it’s the most popular ones that I’ve seen. So it’s entirely up to you what platform you would like to try but these are the most popular.

Video Calling Safety

Now there’s lots of talk about video call safety. And I just wanna go over a few little tips and tidbits about video call safety. One of the most important ones. And certainly one tip that I was asked a lot over this past year was putting the link to your call on social media. Unfortunately, this happened a lot with places of worship or non-profits. They would post a link to their call on a call or broadcast. They would post on their social media accounts and people could just pop in at any time. Anybody, any random person online could pop into their call. And it caused a lot of problems ’cause some people did not have the best interest of the organization in mind when they popped into the call. And so don’t, if you decide to do a video call and you get a link, don’t post that on your social media account, send that to somebody via email or private message or a text. And keep that between just you and the person that you are wanting to talk to via video call. The other important thing is that many of these apps such as Zoom, Apple and Facebook and Google they all have safety features built into the app. So take some time and get to know the app and set it up before you get too rushed into just starting a video call, because in many cases they have safety features built-in that you can set up so that you can feel safe doing a video call with your friend. Also, if you’re in a video call and somebody wants to join the call depending on what app you’re using, you may get a notification that says, username wants to join the call. If you do not know that person or don’t recognize that email don’t let that person in the call with you. So that’s a pretty simple tip but it does really help. So those are the last of my slides today. Keep in mind that you can use a variety of calling apps to make video calls with your friends and family. And they all have separate safety features available to each one of them. One of the best things I can tell you is if a friend wants to make a video call with you and they have a favorite app that they really like, ask them what that app is and see if they can help you get started on it. Because everybody kind of has a favorite that they like to use. So go ahead and ask them to help you get set up and you will be video calling in no time. Thank you.