Consult these technical tips if you are hosting or attending online meetings as you work from home for the first time.
Tip 1: Close unnecessary applications
Online meetings can use many of your computer’s system resources. While some lag is inevitable, this can be greatly reduced by closing applications that are not needed during the meeting. Before you hastily close your applications, save your work!
Tip 2: Use a headset
Having crystal clear audio is imperative to keep a meeting running smoothly. If you have a laptop that supports mini-plug connections, you can use the headset from your cell-phone. The majority of cell-phone headsets have directional microphones, which limits some of the ambient noise that may be going on in the house (like children arguing about “who gets to eat the last fruit by the foot”). Note that some older desktop computers have distinct connection jacks for headphones and microphones.
Even a cheap headset is better than using a computer microphone.
Test your headset audio before making your first call with them. You don’t want to find out that no one can hear you midway into a meeting.
Visit the Logitech website to review headset options: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/headsets.
Remember fax machines? That’s what video conferences sound like when nobody mutes their screen.
Tip 3: Check your internet connection
Before the meeting starts, ensure your internet connection is stable and has enough bandwidth to handle the conference call.
If there are other people on the network, especially children streaming Netflix, you should have them disconnect from the network for the duration of the call. This will help reduce delays.
You can check your home internet speed by reviewing a current bill or contacting your provider. Or you can test your internet speed from a device (while connected to your home network) by visiting https://www.speedtest.net/.
Tip 4: Use a webcam
When possible, use a webcam to make the meetings more personal. Most laptops have integrated cameras. There are plenty of inexpensive options for those using a desktop.
Visit the Logitech website to review webcam options: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/webcams?filters=3801.
Below are some best practices for webcam usage:
- Turn the screen brightness down.
- Ensure your camera is at eye level.
- Remove clutter from the background.
- Preview your image before the meeting.
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