Tips for better quality in online meetings

For best quality in meetings, think of the following:

Set up the infrastructure (internet connection, video, light, sound etc)

  • Use the most stable internet connection, preferably using a cable. If your connection becomes unstable during the meeting, turn off your webcam.
  • Place the webcam so you are facing it and at eye level, e.g.on top of the computer screen. If you are using a laptop, place it on top of something (a pile of books?) so the camera is at eye level, if possible.
  • Sit close enough so your face can be seen properly and angle the camera so your eyes are slightly above the middle of the picture.
  • Have more light in front than behind you. If you have strong light (like a window) behind you, you will show as a dark silhouette. Adding light from multiple sources is good.
  • Daylight or light bulb is best - avoid strip-light that can sometimes cause the picture to flicker.
  • Use a headset, preferably with USB plug. Sound quality is vitally important for the meeting and a proper headset with microphone will provide the best option. Also, this will prevent acoustic feedback (that can occur if you use the built-in microphone and speakers in your computer). If you don't have a proper headset, use the one for your phone - better than nothing! If you are more than one person in a room attending the same meeting, use a speakerphone "ljudpuck" (Jabra).
  • If you are more than two or three in the meeting, mute your microphone whenever you are not speaking. The same goes for when you need to cough or tell someone you're busy.
  • Avoid background noise: scraping chairs, pens tapping on the table surface, papers rustling, fans.
  • If possible, sit in a room where there is no echo. Carpets and curtains have good acoustic properties, as do bookshelves and piles of paper that tend to surround university folk.
    • Try finding a quiet background. Clutter or motion in your background will divert attention and the latter will require extra bandwidth for constantly sending new images.
    • Avoid fine checks or stripes in your clothing - may give strange effects on the screen.

    Participate actively

    • Start/join the meeting in good time so you know your connection works when the meeting begins.
    • When speaking, look at the camera and not the screen to give the other participants a better sense of presence.
    • Use body language - wave or raise your hand if you want to speak and give a thumbs up when someone says something wise.
    • Use the chat function for asking questions and commenting.
    • Use "share screen" to show e.g. a powerpoint presentation.
    • Use the "poll" to check what the other participants think in specific cases or to evaluate whether the meeting was good.
    • A good way to engage participants in the meeting is to, at regular intervals, ask each participant in turn to comment or supplement what has been said so far. It is nice to change the order of who goes first each time.

    Last, but not least

    • Don't forget to take regular breaks! For meetings exceeding 45 minutes, decide at the start when there will be a break. Don't make it too short - keep in mind to allow time for what is normally needed in meetings, e.g. fetching coffee and visiting the restroom.