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Tools you must have to attend virtual meetings

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Whether you are working or connecting with family and friends, in this period of coronavirus, remote video meetings are now inescapable. However, they can be awkward and glitchy.

For instance, it can be awkward when you are having an online video-conferencing with your team and start asking questions like, ‘Can you see me now?’ ‘Can you hear me?’ These questions, to say the least, sound comical, especially when you are having an important official meeting.

But the solution comes in investing in a few tools to make the experience much better for you and the other participants.

Note that upgrading your audio and video tech is pretty easy from a technical perspective. The tools are relatively affordable and they will dramatically improve your production values in virtual meetings.

The following are some of the tools you need at home to have smooth video calls with your team, as well as family and friends.

Laptop stand and external keyboard

The best position for your camera is slightly above your eyes, which is more flattering for your appearance and better for your posture. You could stack books to raise your laptop to the right level, but for a better option, consider a laptop stand.

It is easy to adjust the height of a laptop stand with the sliding knob, and in most cases, the aluminium material from which the stand is made helps to conduct heat away from your laptop, which is important because video-conferencing software can make your computer run hotter.

Meanwhile, if raising your laptop makes it awkward to use the keyboard, you might want an external keyboard, which is quite easy to get from stores selling laptop accessories.

High-quality webcam

With features including autofocus, automatic brightness and colour correction, an external webcam offers better video quality than the built-in cameras on many computers.

Noise-cancelling headset

It may not seem entirely necessary, but a wireless headset can block out noise, prevent others in the room from hearing your call (especially important for those in a busy home) and ensure you are heard clearly. If you don’t have or want an external microphone, a noise-cancelling headset is the best two-in-one solution for better calls.

Good microphone

Nothing can frustrate an online meeting quicker than audio that’s cutting in and out, and your laptop’s lousy built-in microphone may be the culprit. Once you’ve added a decent webcam to your setup, you’ll be in better shape. But a standalone microphone will make you sound clear, rich and full.

You can look for a microphone that has three capsule microphones, four pickup patterns and just enough controls to help optimise the way you sound without overloading you with super technical features.

When buying a microphone, you can look for one offering a convenient mute button, so you can practise good etiquette in online video meetings by muting yourself whenever you’re not speaking.

Better Wi-Fi router

Poor internet connections or slow speeds can make your video calls freeze or drop, especially when multiple people are having a meeting online. So now is a great time to improve your home Wi-Fi.

If you live in an area with a connectivity issue, you can also invest in a mesh-networking kit. It will boost your Wi-Fi signal.

Adjustable desk lamp

Just as photographers use lighting to capture their objects, you can use a lamp to cast a more flattering light on your face.

Position a lamp next to and slightly behind your laptop, and place a sheet of white paper on the desk between you and the laptop to bounce the light nicely.

You can also bounce the lamp light off a white wall behind your computer. Either method is better than having a light pointing directly at your face.

For desk lamps specifically for flattering video calls, go for desk lamps that are highly adjustable, tall and sturdy. You can position the light at any angle, including behind your screen–and then anywhere else on your desk when you’re doing other tasks.

Use a laptop with better processor

If you are using an older laptop manufactured several years ago, you might notice that a short video-conferencing session can send your computer’s fans whirring, thereby affecting your video call.

To avoid this embarrassment, you may consider getting a newer laptop with an updated processor. Laptops with better processors make video-conferencing sessions a lot easier and fun.

 

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#EndSARS

How to assess FG’s Survival Fund

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The Federal Government has moved the website of its Survival Fund with effect from November 1, 2020.

This was disclosed by the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Ahmad on behalf of the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment via his Twitter handle on Saturday.

He tweeted, “The Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment wishes to inform the general public that due to operational challenges the Survival Fund website will be migrating with effect from tomorrow, Nov. 1st, 2020.”

What you should know
Last month, the Federal Government had commenced the disbursement of N30,000 one-time grant to 330,000 artisans across the country. The grant was launched across Lagos, Kano, Abuja and nine other states, as the first batch.

The grant, which is under the MSME Survival Fund, is part of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan Initiated by the Federal Government on the 1st of July, 2020 to assist citizens and businesses operating in Nigeria.

To assess the website, click here

 

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#EndSARS

N30,000 Survival Fund: Beneficiaries are receiving 1st batch- FG

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Beneficiaries in the first batch of the Federal Government’s N30,000 artisans’ grant have started receiving their grants.

This was disclosed by the Presidency via the FG’s Twitter handle on Saturday.

It tweeted, “The first batch of beneficiaries of the N30,000 artisans grant, a component of @NigeriaGov’s @SurvivalFund_ng, have started receiving their grants.

“Eligible beneficiaries are artisans and self-employed individuals. Each State will have 9,000 beneficiaries.”

 

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#EndSARS

Governor Sanwo-Olu lifts curfew in Lagos

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The Lagos State Government has lifted the curfew imposed on the state with immediate effect.

This was disclosed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a statement issued by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, on Saturday.

He stated, “The curfew imposed on Lagos State after the hijack of the peaceful #EndSARS protests has been lifted immediately but the 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. curfew imposed by the Federal Government to curb the spread of COVID-19 remains.

“Lagosians are free to go about their business without any hindrance whatsoever. Security agencies will continue to discharge their duties.

“Lagosians are urged to co-operate with them to maintain the status of our state as one of the most peaceful.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu appreciated the security agencies for their efforts in restoring peace to our troubled communities and commended Lagosians for observing the curfew and ensuring the return of normalcy.

“I urge the citizenry not to do or encourage any action that may turn back the clock, but to keep living in harmony as we get set to rebuild our dear State and strengthen the unity that we are known for,” he added.

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