Teams Tips with a New Signature Expert Part I: Being Video Ready

April 22, 2020 Cara Heimbaugh

Kat Memenza is a New Signature modern workplace expert and host of the New Signature exclusive podcast, Office Explorers, and now she’s offering more insight into how to leverage Teams while working from home and bring about successful meetings, connections and productivity using the platform.

We interviewed Kat and she helped us develop this three-part series, focusing on being video-ready, meetings and Teams options and etiquette for Teams chats and notifications. We hope these tips and tricks will help new or novice Teams users find value in the tool.

Being Video-Ready:

  • Why Use Video?

While talking is great, using video helps you connect with other people—clients and coworkers.  Some people struggle being uncomfortable using video during meetings, but being on video adds a human element that you are missing out on using audio-only calling. Many times, you can learn a lot about someone by seeing their facial expressions, the items in their background, and what they are doing during a meeting. Many human connections can be made through video conferences. Using video allows you, as a meeting leader, to see that your attendees are comprehending the content and gives you the opportunity to pick up on who may be confused or may have a question. As a participant, it’s easier to be engaged when your meeting leader or speaker is utilizing video and showing that the current meeting has their full attention.

  • Being Video Ready

Is full business wear required for 40 hours per week while teleworking? Probably not. But it is important to be video ready when you are meeting with colleagues or customers. A couple of good suggestions is to wear simple attire that isn’t too casual or distracting. If you’re wearing an old t-shirt from our alma mater, you may want to upgrade. Another suggestion is to keep a sport jacket or sweater on your office chair and throw it on to add a layer of professionalism while using video. Keep your office space neat, or use the blurred background feature if you’re traveling or in a place that has distracting scenery. You can find the blur background option by clicking the triple-dot icon during a meeting.

Lighting in the room is also important to illuminate your face and create a warmer environment.

Another tip is to keep water nearby to keep your voice clear and crisp. It’s important to be video ready during the full workday, as you never know who may want to connect with you, or when.

It may, at times, feel like a challenge to be connected while working remotely,  but Teams and its features, used properly, can close the gap between feeling isolated and creating human connections with those you work with.

In Part II of this series, we will focus on meeting options and tips to coordinate and execute the most productive Teams meetings.

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