How to create private online meetings

Give your online meetings a professional aura by making them personal...

That means presenting a slick, professional image from the moment you send the invitation until you sign off. In an ideal situation, you'd be sitting in a conference room, croissants at the ready, with no chance of interruption. But real life isn't like that. Often, the only time you can make a call is when you're at home; as we'll see, that doesn't mean you should sacrifice professionalism.

                  Private rooms

One way to stay professional is to emphasise privacy. 3CX includes the concept of private rooms, where it's clear that you're in a one-to-one conversation. This lets you have all the benefits of a professional videoconferencing system sharing desktops, recording options, video calling but with the knowledge that it's just the two of you talking.

Want someone else to join the meeting? No problem. Whether it's during the call or before it, inviting other people to join the meeting is a simple task.

                  Click2Meet

Another way to stay professional? Make the whole experience feel tailored to your company, not an off-the-shelf option.

Kate could then add that link to her business cards and email signature. If anyone wanted to request a meeting, they would simply enter that URL.  Your caller doesn't need to install any software. As 3CX uses WebRTC, so long as they're using Firefox, Chrome or Opera, they'll be able to log straight into the call.

                  Scheduling meetings

It's also possible to schedule a meeting, complete with an invitation that slots into people's chosen calendar. They click accept and the calendar entry will pop up at the appropriate time, with a unique link and sign-in code.

Inviting colleagues is a simple matter of starting to type their name and clicking Add. For external . people, all you need is an email address. Once the meeting starts, you can share your screen, take remote control of someone else's system (they will need to download the 3CX Remote Control Extension and give their consent) and share documents. These are automatically put into a shared documents repository, but you can stop sharing if you wish.

A final useful feature (which is also available in Click2Meet meetings) is the whiteboard. Obvious usages include brainstorming, collaborating on ideas and online classrooms. And, as with Click2Meet, you can easily add more people by email or create a link that can be shared on social media.

                  Beyond VoIP

So far, so easy, but don't let this simplicity fool you: 3CX offers tools that go way beyond what consumer VoIP services provide. A better comparison is with the enterprise communication tools that used to cost tens of thousands of pounds.

For example, install 3CX across your business and you will add presence information to people's contacts. That's obviously useful for remote employees, but also allows people to set "do not disturb" statuses.

A built-in chat tool makes it easy to instant-message someone: you don't need to install a third-party messaging service simply send text-based messages and links in a familiar chat interface, whether people are using a Mac, Windows, iOS or Android device. If you're still receiving faxes, get them forwarded to an inbox as a PDF. And there's no need to mess around with pressing a series of digits on your phone to listen to voicemails: they're converted to audio files and emailed to the relevant person.

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Go to the next page to find out how to set up a Click2Meet meeting<

                  How to set up a Click2Meet meeting

1) Let's assume you've already arranged the time to have your meeting. All you need to do is log into the 3CX web client and click WebMeeting. The meeting will start automatically.

2) Your caller enters the address into Opera, Chrome or Firefox. They will be prompted to enter their name and confirm usage of microphone and webcam.

3) Athis point, your caller will see a lovely image of you, so it probably makes sense to check that your location and indeed you look suitably professional before you begin.

4) You're ready to go. You can share screens, switch the webcam on or off, send chat messages and draw on a whiteboard collaboration has never been easier.

You can find more detailed guidance on how to set up a video conference via the link here and the video below.

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