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Best practices and favourite features for your next online meeting

September 24, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Woman and man having a meeting over a video conference.

Even if you’re back in the office, chances are you’re still regularly participating in online meetings. But how familiar are you with your video conference platform?

Here’s a quick and easy guide to best practices and favourite features for your next online meeting.

Best Practices

Mute your microphone – Unless you’re speaking, keep your volume off. That way your coworkers aren’t distracted by noises and you don’t have to worry about stealing unwanted focus.

Join meetings in a quiet area – Find somewhere private or quiet. Avoid crowds (including family members and pets), heavy traffic and noisy household appliances (like your washer and dryer).

Position your webcam like a pro – You’re a professional, so you want to look like one, right? Make sure you’re framed well on the screen, check that your background is business appropriate and have your camera at eye level or higher (looking down at your camera is never flattering.)

Don’t eat onscreen – Maybe people don’t notice you snacking in a regular meeting, but you can bet they will be distracted by it on video! Unless you have to, eat off camera.

Shortcuts and Features

Note: This blog post is specific to Zoom, but chances are whatever meeting software you’re using has the same capabilities.

The following shortcuts and features are available to use while you’re in a conference call or by clicking on the Settings gear icon on the top right corner of your screen in the Zoom home screen.

Quickly invite someone to join your meeting
You’re in a meeting and you realize someone is missing. It’s easy to invite them.

  1. Use this shortcut ⌘ + I on a Mac or Alt + I on a PC
  2. There are two ways to invite someone:
    • In the Contacts tab, directly invite colleagues on your contact list; or
    • In the Email tab, Copy Invite Link, choose your email service and paste the link in the email.

Mute everyone if you’re the meeting host
Have you ever been distracted by a coworker’s background noise? Yes, us too. The meeting host has the power to mute everyone at once.

  1. Simply use the following shortcut:
    • On a Mac, press ⌘ + Cntrl + M
    •  On a PC, press Alt + M

“Touch up my appearance”
If you don’t feel like you look your best, this feature acts like a soft-focus lens. It will slightly blur skin tone and smooth out your wrinkles and blemishes.

  1. On the bottom left of your screen, click on the ^ beside Stop Video
  2. Select Video Settings
  3. Click the Video tab
  4. Under My Video, check off “Touch up my appearance”

Virtual backgrounds
Are you feeling self-conscious about what’s in the background of your Zoom call? Or maybe you just want to experiment with fun backgrounds? There are tons of fun background options or you can upload your own.

  1. On the bottom left of your screen, click on the ^ beside Stop Video
  2. Select Choose Virtual Background…
  3. Choose a background or press the + sign to upload a new background image or video
  4. To turn the virtual background off, repeat the first two steps and select None

This acts just like a whiteboard and can be great for brainstorming. There are different annotation options like text boxes, arrows, a drawing tool and “Spotlight” which is like a highlighter.

  1. At the bottom of your screen in the centre, click on Share Screen
  2. Choose Whiteboard and click Share
  3. Click on the Save button if you want to download your whiteboard

Have we missed any tricks? Let us know.

Tell us about it. Share it on social media and tag us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Better yet, create and share a video.

We’re asking members to share their stories all year and this fall’s theme is “Falling Into Place.”

Record or upload your video and share it on social media with the hashtags #ThisisMyHR and #cphrSK15years. Each month during our 15-year anniversary, one participant will win a $25 gift card to a local establishment of their choice!

Click here for rules, tips and how to submit.

Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Saskatchewan (CPHR Saskatchewan)
#210, 3501 8th Street East / Saskatoon, Sask. / S7H 0W5
tel: 306.242.2747  / email: 

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