If you would have been in an audience at one of the conferences I've spoken at recently, you would have been asked "Why Be Constrained"? Then shown different, easy solutions for taking meetings online instead of driving to see your client.

Thinking it was time to practice what I preach, I suggested a Google Hangouts meeting with one of my clients. They use Google and were familiar with it. I was delighted as this was going to save a prime time hour out of my day. Driving to/from Glendowie to Parnell, circling the block three or four times for a parking space. Waiting in reception. It was set for a time where there's no traffic. You try going on the Highway anywhere near Newmarket anytime and you can kiss a swag of time away in traffic.

I have a home office like many. Being self-employed without any staff in - I was dressed reasonably relaxed. As the 3:00pm meeting approached, I realised the attire wouldn't do. Then I thought - oh no! where to set up the laptop? Everything behind my head was going to be seen. Should it be the pictures of the children? What about my indoor garden of microgreens. What about outside? No. Too chilly.

On went the work clothes. Oh no - plain Jane - so on went make up. Then I tried a hangout with my husband's ID and when the computer webcam came on - oh goodness the closeup!!! I freaked out, looking at the turkey neck showing in that camera not two feet away. Webcams showing you from the neck level looking up will never, ever be an attractive sight - even on Angelina Jolie. Opps the close up again - my roots were beginning to show. Should I put on a little swab of touch up stick?

Well, dress I did. Makeup - check. Cardboard box from the Pak'N'Save grocery shopping retrieved from the garage to put my laptop on - check. No more turkey neck - check. Fluffed up hair - check.


I went to the invite. Clicked the link and joined the meeting. Oh no! My Dell laptop was playing up - I couldn't be heard. Fixed (thou must know thy control panel).

Meeting over. How'd it go? Marvelous. Was it as good as being in the meeting room with the client? Yes.

When it came down to it - I was the one worried about my looks, not anyone else (we are all our own worst enemies). We could have done the meeting voice only, but it wouldn't have been the same. The elevated laptop worked a stunning charm. How easy was it? If you have a Google Account (and let's face it - who doesn't), it's as easy as setting up a meeting invite and then clicking on the link; and allowing it to use your webcam and microphone.