A 30 minutes Technology Review

The Essentials is designed for coaches and facilitators who want a beyond-the-basics overview of the right technology to use for presenting online.

We’ll talk about the need for an external monitor, webcam quality, laptop mic vs. desktop or lapel mic, peripheral devices like hubs and wireless mice, internet connection speeds, and finally your video conferencing solution.

To start, we’ll talk about your hardware.

Computer monitor setup

  • Single display setup. Typically this will be your laptop.
  • Multi-display setup (Shown below)
    • Content monitor/laptop
    • Collaboration monitor/external display
Content monitor/laptop would be on the left with the collaboration monitor on the right.

Webcam – Buy an external camera to use in conjunction with the built-in camera to create a “two-camera shoot”.

Computer docks and hubs – Used to connect multiple peripherals like external keyboards, a second webcam, and USB microphones.

Audio – Many guests on news programs have terrible audio quality because they are using their computer mics. I experienced the same poor quality on the Dr. Phil show when he was broadcasting from his home.

For more presence, I recommend a discrete lapel mic. They not only provide better sound, but they look more professional.

Here’s a list from best to lowest quality audio when presenting virtually.

1) Lavalier or Lapel mic

These are great for removing unsightly technology like a headset or earbuds. They come in three common connection standards.

  • A 3.5 mm TRRS. Similar to your wired headsets that include a microphone
  • USB. Both USB A and USB C.
  • Wireless. These are great if you walk from 10’ – 15’ from the camera.
Robin Meade wearing a lapel mic.

2) Desktop microphones

  • They also come in multiple connections. To keep it simple, focus on USB condenser microphones.

3) Computer microphones

  • On Mac laptops, the mic is decent. On the PC, it varies due to so many manufacturers. None of them are great.

4) Webcam microphones

  • If the webcam is not a reputable brand, then this mic should be your last resort.

Then we’ll get into software.

Most collaboration software work the same. My recommendation is to use whatever you are familiar with, or with what your audience uses. Here’s a list of the most popular VC software.

  • Zoom – Great for personal, small business and mass appeal markets. 
  • Webex – Preferred by corporations because it’s very secure.
  • Teams – Also preferred by large corporations because of security features, robust feature set, and integration with IT systems. 
  • Skype – Going the way of the dodo. I like Skype, but I find many people not using as much as the three services above.
  • Ring Central – I hear it’s good, but I’ve never used it, and have never been asked to use it.

After that, it’s about how sharing content.


The most important thing to remember when sharing content is to turn off notifications before you enter a meeting, or an event where you will be presenting. 

Here’s how to do it on the Mac and Windows.


Pause notifications

  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu System Preferences, then click Notifications.
  2. In Notifications preferences, select Do Not Disturb on the left, then set options.When Do Not Disturb is on, the Notification Centre icon in the menu bar is dimmed. You don’t see or hear notifications arrive; they are collected in Notification Centre where you can view them later.

You can also turn on Do Not Disturb by holding down the Option key while you click the Notification Centre icon in the menu bar. Or click the icon to open Notification Centre, swipe down, then turn on Do Not Disturb. It stays on until midnight, the next scheduled time to turn off (based on settings in Notifications preferences), or you turn it off.

Stop notifications

  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu System Preferences, then click Notifications.
  2. In Notifications preferences, select the app on the left, then the None option for the Alert Types.


How to Disable All Notifications

Windows 10’s Settings app allows you to control notifications. To launch it…

  • Open the Start menu, and then click the gear-shaped “Settings” icon—or press Windows+I.
  • Navigate to System > Notifications & Actions in the Settings window.
  • To disable notifications for every app on your system, turn the “Get notifications from apps and other senders” toggle off.
  • This option will disable the notifications for both Windows 10 Store apps and classic desktop apps.

Remember to share windows, not screens.

If you do share your screen clean up your virtual desktop. You don’t want to expose your client or participants to your unsavory interests.

Clean up your browser tabs. When sharing a browser window, make sure to open a new tab for sharing. Don’t share with multiple tabs open unless they are part of the content. It’s distracting. It might also expose your client or participants to your unsavory interests, job boards, and competitive brands.

Want to take your production to the next level?
Level-up with these two options.

Light it up!

The Essentials + Lighting & Background = better productions.


  • All capabilities of The Essentials
  • Lighting techniques
  • Background declutter
  • Office config
  • Products selection


Tech, lights + Space & Wardrobe by Stylist, Charlie Nicholson.


  • All capabilities of Light it up!
  • Consultation with Hollywood Super Stylist, Charlie Nicholson