Using Zoom (and other platforms)

Most of my work is done remotely already. My courses and webinars are online and my coaching is by telephone (have a look and see what is available on the website if you’re interested but that’s not the purpose of this email).

Some businesses are already using Zoom or something similar but here are a few tips for those just starting.

First timers:

  • Log in beforehand and play with the software
  • Test camera
  • Test microphone

The webinar:

  • Log in 5 minutes beforehand and check camera and microphone
  • Keep mic on mute when not speaking
  • Minimise background noise by closing your door and bribing any children. If you’re likely to struggle with bandwidth while working from home then ensure that nobody else is streaming videos or music
  • Software picks up sound from one speaker at a time (your background noise may force the main speaker onto mute)
  • Dress appropriately for the meeting. Dress codes may be less formal when working from home but think about what you’re wearing for your meeting.
  • Remember that you can be seen even when not speaking

To be professional:

  • Place your camera at a flattering angle. Slightly above you is best. If you are looking down into the camera you may provide an excellent view of your nostrils and multiple chins
  • Have good lighting on your face. Cheap photographic lights will do the job but experiment with what you already have
  • Make sure that your background is tidy. Green screen effects may be fun but they’re not great coping if the “edges” of your head/hair move and are fairly disastrous with curly hair like mine
  • An external mic will give much better sound quality. Being close to you it cuts out background noise more efficiently
  • An external camera may be better than your laptop one but start with the lighting.

I’m going to make some slots available to help people tweak their set up and have a play online so let me know if you’d like a 30 minute session this week. So far I’ve helped a professional speaker, my Spanish teacher and a piano teacher to try to keep their businesses going by moving to online.