Be a good video call citizen

Ah the video call. Usually fraught with 5 minutes of "Can you hear me now?", distorted faces, or your two children in the background. I've been in my fair share of video calls and I thought I'd share a few tricks that help limit my contributions to the chaos.

Be a few minutes early.

If you're there early you can get any hiccups (technical or otherwise) out of the way before the meeting actually starts. No fancy technical trick here.

Keep your workspace neat

Again, not a technical solution but a practical one. Limit the distractions you may present by having a tidy workspace. Pay special attention to what's behind you before you get on a call. Everyone's been laughing at poor Professor Kelly recently but notice that he clearly spent some time before the call trying to make his background look good.

Use a cough button (aka push-to-talk)

I love the Shush app. It works at the system level to mute or unmute your microphone and binds that action to a hotkey. Shush is fantastic because you don't need to remember where each video service stashes its mute button. The ability to quickly toggle mute is a super power that goes a long way towards minimizing any distractions you may create while on the call.

There you have it, my top three tips for video calls. Do you have any other tips? Let me know about them on twitter and I'll list them below.