Online meetings: Microphone

Online meetings and videoconferencing: How it works (Part 3)

Online meetings: MicrophoneThere are still too many bad online meetings and video conferences even after many months since the start of the Corona Crisis and correspondingly much practice with home offices. That’s why I’m also sharing more tips on how to make online meetings better in this post.
Imagine you are watching the news on TV. The daytime newsreader looks into the camera, comes into your living room razor sharp and the sound is flawless. That’s exactly what online meetings are all about. Consequently, three tips on how you too can look better during online meetings.

  1. Make sure the picture is in focus. Unfortunately, this is not possible with a cheap webcam, which has been installed in many laptops. That’s why I recommend an external webcam. A recommendable webcam is for example the Logitech C920. Even though it is currently (May 2020) not in stock in many places.
  2. The lighting is at least as important as the camera. Make sure the lighting comes from the front. There should be enough light, but not too much either. A no-go is the window behind you. This way you are (almost) black on a white background. Daylight is often difficult because it changes unexpectedly in many cases. Therefore, additional artificial lighting can be helpful. A colleague has shown that sometimes a simple reading lamp can be enough. If you like it more professional, light not only yourself, but also the green screen. This way you have a lighting that is almost studio quality.
  3. Sound is often underestimated. Same issue as with the cameras already built into laptops: the hardware, in this case the microphone, is not of particularly high quality. It is also worth buying an external microphone for the sound. There are several possibilities. You can take a podcaster mic. That’s certainly a good choice. In addition, there are headsets. With wireless headsets, however, you have to keep in mind that you will be exposed to the Bluetooth radiation of the headset for hours. I’ve already gotten an earache from it.

Whatever you do, make sure you get a good picture – also thanks to good lighting – and a good sound.

I wish you much success for your online meetings and video conferences. Keep at it and most importantly – keep being healthy!

 

Thomas Skipwith

P.S.: Check out the book “Online Meetings” by Thorsten Jekel and me. There you will find all the tips and tricks you need. If, in addition, you want to practice, here’s more info.

Thanks to the waiting room: Goodbye zoom bombing!

Zoom bombing: Never again! Video conferencing and online meeting tips (part 2)

Recently, some concerns have arisen about data security in virtual meetings. In particular, there was some media coverage of the so-called “zoom bombing.” Similar to party crashing, people have participated on Zoom who were not welcomed. These surprise guests have written inappropriate content and shared inappropriate images in the chat. Zoom, meanwhile, has done a lot to prevent that. However, the settings you make in Zoom remain decisive. If you chosse the right settings, you will no longer have problems with unwanted guests and content. In this post, I share the three most important settings.

  1. Thanks to the waiting room: Goodbye zoom bombing!Before participants are allowed to take part in the online meeting, they first step into the waiting room. From there, they are then let in by the host or co-host. Activate the waiting room via the browser: zoom.us -> Personal / Settings >In Meeting (extended) > Waiting room.
  2. Keep the invitation link secret. Share it only with those who are to participate in the online meeting. This will prevent unauthorized persons from entering the waiting room.
  3. Restrict participants from sharing their screen or content during the meeting unless they have your permission.

Enable this setting via the browser: zoom.us -> Personal / Settings -> In Meeting (Basics) -> Screen Transfer -> Host Only

I wish you much success for your future video conferences and online meetings – without zoom bombing. I’m sure they’ll be more frequent after Corona than in the past, too. More tips to follow. Stay tuned and stay healthy!

 

Thomas Skipwith

Check out the book “Online Meetings” by Thorsten Jekel and me. There you will find all the tips and tricks you need. If, in addition, you want to practice, here’s more info. There you will find all the tips and tricks you need. If, in addition, you want to practice, here’s more info.