We already described what you can do with Microsoft Teams this one blog. But now that a large part of the Netherlands is at work at home and many office employees use video calling from the bedroom, study or kitchen table, it seemed useful to us to describe the 'how' instead of the 'what' in the form of 8 practical useful tips. Use it to your advantage.
Tip 1: Find a quiet workplace
You may have already experienced online meetings where the children of colleagues are unexpected participants. Do you remember this BBC Interview which went viral at the time? Sometimes you will even have to lock the door or close the windows because of unwanted noise from traffic in the street.
Tip 2: Double check the background
Prevent online meeting participants from seeing things on screen that should be private or distracting the conversation. As an extra tip, you can choose 'more options' in Microsoft Teams to blur the background. (Blur my background) In addition, make sure there is enough light so that it is pleasant for participants to look at you.
Tip 3: Pay attention to the position of your camera
Suppose you literally had 12 inches between your nose and someone else's nose, that would feel rather uncomfortable in most cases. It is the same with online meetings. Make sure there is some space above your head on the image.
Tip 4: Don't look at your keys, but at the camera
Yes, it takes some getting used to, but just like in any meeting. Looking at people you talk to is much better than telling a story to the ground. Be aware of that.
Tip 5: Is your sound working? Test!
Before you go to an online meeting with several colleagues or customers, it makes sense to test with a colleague whether the sound is good. Using a headset or earplugs also ensures a fuller and better sound by neutralizing background noise. The extra tip regarding noise; set your sound to 'mute' if you are not presenting yourself.
Tip 6: Stick to the agenda and ensure structure
If you are the chair of an online meeting yourself, make sure you have sent a clear agenda by email in advance. Unlike in a face-to-face meeting, you are less aware online whether participants are wandering off. So create structure more than ever.
Tip 7: Ask questions in the meantime, ensure interaction
Of course this depends on the topic, but no doubt you have attended an online meeting where suddenly a question was asked and no one answered. In most cases it took too long or it was too boring. The laptop remained on, but there was coffee drinking somewhere else, the laundry done or the dog out. Asking questions keeps things lively.
Tip 8: Avoid jogging pants and unshaven faces
Especially when you are in the picture with customers, it is not professional to participate in house suits, jogging pants or old T-shirts. Of course you do not have to sit in your office in a jacket or suit, but ensure a professional appearance.
We wish you lots of job satisfaction, because you can still meet customers and colleagues online using Microsoft Teams.
Of course we hope to be able to shake your hand again soon.