Over the past 18 months, our understanding of the word meeting has changed beyond imagination. For many in the ‘before’ days it meant gathering physically in a conference room or office, when overnight the world got used to staring into a webcam from home instead.
Today as we embark on a new normality, the way we collaborate is shifting again — and the technology we use has evolved to support a fluid and flexible remote-ready environment, you can access on any device you choose.
For most people this means a mobile phone, and the good news is, the GlobalMeet mobile app is all you need to effectively participate in, and even host, a professional high quality online meeting.
One significant benefit you’ll enjoy as soon as you switch to the GlobalMeet app and connect through VoIP instead of dialing in, is the Dolby audio quality.
The intelligent Dolby codec behind the GlobalMeet mobile app takes things to a whole different level, with smart noise cancellation. This automatically adjusts to take account of background noise, in the same way that your brain tunes out the neighbor’s power tool fetish or crying baby (eventually), the software does instantly, to avoid the mic picking it up and degrading the audio environment for all participants.
This is vital for online meetings because the holistic sound experience is fundamental — whether you’re connecting with colleagues, collaborating with teammates, serving a customer, or presenting to a large group. If someone’s bandwidth is choppy you can easily sacrifice the video, because it’s voice which drives the interaction — That would never work the other way around.
What, we can only speculate, is the real cost to business, of every moment lost to ‘pardon — could you repeat that, please? Sorry, I didn’t quite catch what you said there…?’ Or the thing you thought you heard, and therefore proceed in completely the wrong direction, failing to add the value needed. Never mind the opportunity cost of the thing you simply didn’t hear at all, which could have led to new business, new ideas, or a deeper connection with your contact.
The trouble with poor meeting audio is that it’s dragged down by the weakest link — if one person has a bad set-up, that sets the standard for the meeting, everyone gets the benefit of their feedback or echo or hiss.
So for best audio hygiene in your next meeting:
- It’s recommended that all meeting participants download the mobile app instead of dialing in, to access the Dolby-enhanced professional sound cancellation. It’s easy for meeting guests to use the GlobalMeet app too without having to create an account.
- Use of a headset with a mic improves pickup and clarity — even the headset supplied with your mobile, which usually has a little mic built into the cable, is better than nothing.
- The host can check in with a direct question or greeting to each participant at the outset of the meeting, ensuring each person is clearly audible and understandable to others (this is also a great way to immediately identify if somebody has that occasional irritating half-second delay going on which can be caused by local connectivity issues, and allow for it during the rest of the call)
- You can mandate a protocol that everyone mute when not speaking, especially if the group is large, and if your audio environment is unstable. (For smaller groups and where everyone has a quiet space, it can add atmosphere and presence to leave mics open though, for those little noises of asset or affirmation to come through… Just not at the expense of hearing the speaker clearly and distinctly). And if anyone forgets the agreement, the host can mute any participant with a tap.
- If it’s helpful, agree on a signal that each person can use when they’re finished speaking — as is the evolving etiquette in group audio environments like Clubhouse, an equivalent of ‘over’ at the end of each communication lets others know they can finally jump in and respond.
But there’s much more to the GlobalMeet mobile app than simply listening.
Using your device’s native webcam, the video quality of your personal feed is excellent, as well as your view of others on the screen. You don’t need an 8k monitor to benefit from the enhanced collaboration and feelings of connection which come from seeing each other face to face, wherever you are.
Remember to smile, and use gestures to communicate during the meeting as you naturally would face to face — using the chat functionality, you can add additional dimensions to the communication without interrupting the speaker, with emojis and actions and comments.
If everyone’s on mobile, of course the screen is smaller, even with the sleek design and smart use of every pixel that the GlobalMeet mobile app offers. So to put your best face on for mobile video, think about your background and lighting — it’s much easier to move around to adjust this when you’re not tied to your desk, so make sure you’re not in “witness protection” silhouette mode, if you want to enhance a sense of connectedness and co-operation.
Also consider wearing block colors, and positioning yourself in front of a neutral, simple, and professional background, if you want to make a clear impression. Fine stripes can be problematic on any camera creating dazzling visual interference, and sometimes reds and greens don’t render well on mobile front-facing cameras.
Managing meetings on the go
One thing people sometimes find surprising about the GlobalMeet mobile app, is the array of collaboration and meeting management functionality built into it.
Outlook calendar integration
You can view your full day’s schedule and join upcoming calls with a single tap from your connected calendar.
- Open the mobile app.
- On the Home or Meetings tabs, tap Connect Calendar.
(Tip: In the iOS app, you can also tap your avatar to open the app menu, and then tap Settings > Meetings > Connect your calendar.)
- Tap Continue to continue to the Microsoft login page.
- Sign in to your Microsoft account by entering your email address, phone number, or Skype handle, and then tap Next.
- Enter your Microsoft password or enter your organization’s account credentials, and then tap Sign in.
- Tap Accept to grant permission for the mobile app to access your Outlook information.
Integration with other calendars will be coming soon.
It’s your meeting, so you’re in control, wherever you are. Admit, dismiss, mute, enable, or pass control to any participant, when you’re the host.
You’ll also find waiting room controls, so your meeting doesn’t start until you’re ready, making it easy to manage collaborations like a series of job interviews — maintaining regulation and oversight of who is in the room, and who is not. You can lock the room once everyone’s in, and stop anybody else knocking on the virtual door — so you have complete control over all aspects of your meeting visibility and access.
To invite guests to your meeting, you can copy your meeting URL from the mobile app. Access numbers and GlobalMeet VRC connection details are available in your GlobalMeet room, GlobalMeet desktop apps, and in GlobalMeet for Outlook meeting invitations.
It’s also very easy to schedule an upcoming meeting on the mobile app too. You can send invitations, save the meeting to your calendar, and can track attendee responses. You can even update the meeting date and time, if needed, all without leaving the app.
Not only can you view and use webcam feeds in your meeting, you can also view shared screens, files, and the whiteboard for a rich and productive collaboration experience.
Meeting recordings are also accessible directly within the application too on iOS — no need to dig around in your emails for that link to the conversation you had whenever it was, it’s all right there.
Meetings anywhere at all?
So we’ve established that there’s no need to compromise on full video participation just because you happen to be on your phone instead of your laptop, and frequently you’ll have access to a better quality camera there anyway. Mic up, pop your phone on a stand, and enjoy the rich video experience in full, wherever you are.
The GlobalMeet mobile app’s intuitive design highlights the active speaker, and also offers direct access to their profile if required, and once you’re signed in to the app you can join any meeting with a tap — there’s no need to enter your credentials each time, as you would have to if dialing in externally.
However, as we take advantage of all that the work-anywhere new normality has to offer us through free software like the GlobalMeet mobile app, a few things to bear in mind:
Think about confidentiality and privacy
If you’re discussing contracts, intellectual property, personal details of customers or other stakeholders, or your personal plans for world domination… Who else could be listening?
The industry-leading encryption on the app protects the integrity of the call from end to end, but what about where you are, when the call takes place? It’s easy to become so immersed in the dynamic meeting experience that you lose awareness of your surroundings, and who else might have entered them, if you are on the move or in a public place.
Because scheduling with the calendar is so easy with GlobalMeet, you can proactively manage your day and ensure that all your meetings take place in a suitably private environment. And if something comes up and you’re late back to your preferred place, it’s easy to hand off hosting privileges to someone else, while you send a quick group message explaining that you’ll be joining in very shortly.
Courtesy to other participants
Mobile phones can be noisy devices, especially given how integral they are today to every aspect of personal and professional activities. So to prevent bings and beeps, be sure to silence notifications, or activate ‘do not disturb’ mode, on your phone before the meeting starts. Don’t accidentally put it into flight mode when you do that, or you won’t be connecting to your call! But you can suppress other apps from getting in your face, and irritating your correspondents, while you’re focusing on the conversation in hand.
While the sheer portability of mobile devices is their strength, if you can, for best results position your mobile device on a stand or surface — if you’re out and about taking a walk, audio-only participation may be better, than inducing seasickness in your colleagues, or offering occasional glimpses of your ceiling or up your nose. What you perceive as small natural movements, such as those created by walking down the road, can appear to viewers as though you’re on a trampoline, as it serves up vertiginous swings of changing backgrounds.
The personal profile you create in the mobile app can offer a clear professional static image instead, which will clearly indicate when you’re the active speaker, and you can easily switch to that if you want to take a stroll.
Multitasking is a myth, and if you’re fully focused on a meeting, you won’t be paying attention to where you put your feet or anything else. GlobalMeet mobile calls are so immersive, you’re better off sitting down and putting your full attention on them, wherever you are, and ensuring your personal belongings are secure if you’re on a call out and about.
And it should go without saying, NEVER video call while driving.
As we move out of our forced home-working into the new normality, we’re taking with us all the advances in online collaboration that the last 18 months have brought us, along with a new universal embrace of streaming and camera technology. So we’re all going to have to learn to do this safely and smartly, in the future of work which awaits.
The GlobalMeet mobile app is a great place to make the most of everything this brave new world has to offer, and you can download it for free in your App Store right now.