Work From Home - Start at the Beginning; The Set Up 

You will need a device whether it’s a PC or a laptop to engage in your day to day activities.  This includes meetings with others remotely.  Most laptops will come with a built-in microphone and camera.  Let’s face facts, rarely are these devices at the top of the food chain.  This leads to poor video or audio quality which can stop a meeting from being a success right out of the gate. 


At the very least use an external USB camera so that you will look your best when meeting remotely.  Remember the key to building relationships is to be able to look someone in the eye and to read their body language as you meet.  If your camera can’t send a strong clear image of you this is impossible to accomplish.  Likewise, be cautious of the camera placement.  When using built-in laptop cameras it is very easy to get the dreaded “nose cam”.  You’ve been there where the entire meeting everyone is checking out the speaker’s sinus cavity.  Ideally, your camera should be at eye level or for an even more flattering look, slightly above eye level.  This aids in removing double chins and shadows under the eyes.   


Now that video has been enhanced, it’s time to work on audio.  Again nothing stops the progress of a meeting like no one being able to clearly hear.  Even if the video fails, which when using Zoom isn’t usually the case, the meeting can still go on as long as everyone is able to hear and be heard.  For this reason, we recommend a peripheral device such as the Yamaha YVC-200.   


Don’t forget your lighting.  A simple and inexpensive LED light can enhance your image quality.  Or choose to sit near a window for natural lighting effects.  Relying on lighting from above you will create unflattering shadows.  Don’t forget that Zoom also wants you to look your best.  In the video settings, you will find a checkbox to “touch up my appearance”.  Now it won’t drastically change your appearance but it will take the “edge” off.   


You can also use virtual backgrounds for your Zoom meetings.  Just in case your new work from home office isn’t necessarily the perfect environment.  Most computers are able to generate your image over a virtual background provided or you can simply create one yourself!   


The small footprint and the USB/Bluetooth connectivity make it a perfect device for all of your conferencing needs.  It comes with a carrying case and can operate off of an internal battery.  Perfect for when you’re on the go!  I use mine in my car during those long road adventures.   

The noise cancellation, microphone pickup and the clarity and volume from the speaker are much better than what most cars are able to create. 


When you’re in a group meeting, it’s always advisable to leave your microphone muted.  Any more than three open mics at any time in any type of conference can easily create chaos.  Just remember that when you wish to speak you can simply hit your space bar and Zoom will unmute you.  Release the space bar and you're muted again!