The following are my tech recommendations to improve your online meetings.
Many built-in mics do not provide sufficient directional focus causing significant background noise or, worse yet, feedback from your speakers.
I recently upgraded to a Blue Yeti, a great mic with the ability to select the pattern for the mic between stereo, cardioid, omni and bidirectional. For USB mic recommendations, check out PCMag 11 top picks at https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-usb-microphones
Another option is a good quality headset with a boom mic. The disadvantage is the discomfort of wearing a headset compared to having a mic sitting on your desk and how you look wearing it.
I use the speakers on my monitor for most meetings; however, when others are around, I use earbuds plugged directly into my Yeti mic.
I have ordered a replacement for my old 720p camera, and when looking at alternatives, I considered using my smartphone or digital SLR camera. Check out webcam reviews and links to using your digital SLR or smartphone at https://www.pcmag.com/picks/how-to-buy-the-best-webcam.
First, make sure not to have anything bright behind you, which can cause exposure issues.
You may also find a room with a brightly painted wall can change the hue of the image. I have such a wall and by pointing an inexpensive LED desk lap at myself, the colours and overall image quality improved.
There are dedicated lighting systems for use with your webcam, which will further improve video quality. Check out your favourite tech store for all of the options available.
When people in the meeting can see and hear you clearly, the whole online meeting process is better for everyone. Review your tech and invest in some of the above-noted items; after all, online meetings are here to stay.
One last thing, don’t forget to clean up the background.