Ok so you’re working from home, and you have a meeting scheduled and you don’t know what to do. Don’t worry here we are going to go through some top tips to help you get set up for an online meeting, be it for work or a job interview.

When and where?

  • Before getting on to the hardware worrying about cameras or microphones you’ll need to find out what software you are using. It could be one of many for example; Teams, Skype and Zoom. If you don’t know which one you use for your meetings then make sure you ask a member of your team prior and don’t leave it too late.
  • Now you know what software you are using do you know how to enter the meeting? Check your emails to see if you have been sent a link, for apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom the link will tend to take you straight to the meeting, if so make sure you have easy access to the link to ensure you arrive in the meeting promptly.
  • If you don’t have a link to the meeting then there may be a reminder in the apps calendar, for example, if you use Teams you’ll be able to join the meeting through the reminder in the app calendar. Now if none of the examples above help then don’t be afraid to ask a colleague for help on finding out where the meeting is held.

Your Set-Up

  • So now you know when and where the meeting is, the next thing to do is get your set up ready. Naturally, the first thing you’ll want to set up is the camera. If you are using a laptop then the chances are that you have a built-in camera already. If you don’t have one built-in or you want to use an external camera then you’ll need to make sure it’s plugged in. This will usually be via a USB so make sure that you have free space for it.
  • Now that your camera is plugged in you’ll want to enter the app that the meeting will be held in and check that the camera is working. To do so you will want to go to settings and look at what is usually the Video or capture settings. Here you will be able to see if your camera is working and selected.
  • Now that the camera is on and working, look behind you. This is important as what you see behind you will also be what they see. So make sure that you have a neutral background so that there is nothing behind you that could distract the other members of the meeting or more importantly embarrass you.
  • Now you’ve got your camera set up and your background ready the next component to look at is your microphone. Chances are if you are using a camera via USB or a built-in one it will have a microphone built-in but you can never be too sure. So in the same place that you checked for your camera, you’ll want to navigate to the audio or sound settings and check that the microphone you want is selected in the audio input/ microphone section.

Top Tips

Now that you are ready for your meeting with everything set up nows the time to tell you a few tips and tricks to help you out when having your meetings:

  • No Doors – If you live with other people the chances are they will either forget that you are in a meeting or they won’t know. So to avoid them being caught on the camera try having your camera face away from any doors so no one else can see who entered the room.
  • No Entry – Following on from the previous point it might be worth investing in a sign or making a makeshift one that says no entry or in a meeting. This way the people you live with can see when you are in a meeting.
  • Test – To make sure you are prepared why not try doing a test run with a friend or colleague, this way you can see how it works and what buttons not to press.
  • Mute – Now it may sound obvious but if you don’t want someone to hear you, make sure you are muted because many accidents have happened because people have forgotten to mute.
  • Filters – Now if you really are unhappy with your background or your house is exceptionally messy don’t worry. Most apps currently will offer filters that can change the background but make sure that the background isn’t a novelty and still meets a level of professionalism.
  • Alone – Make sure that you are alone. It doesn’t matter how quiet the person might be, you could still get distracted and that will show in your meeting.
  • Trousers – Although you may be comfortable in your tracksuit bottoms or pyjamas, it’s just a recipe for disaster as one day you’ll forget when you go to grab something mid-meeting. So please for your sake make sure that what you are wearing is suitable for your workplace.