increase playback volume

Cheers - I do audio surveillance, meeting recordings, etc. and sometimes the recordings (WAV format) are very quiet and difficult to hear. Plus, there’s background “white” noise.
I’m not super adept with Audacity (version 2.4.2) and to be honest, I find the manual difficult to follow (mainly because I am not an audio-engineer). Can someone ELI5 to help me minimize background “white” noise and increase the volume of the recorded spoken words? Apologies if this is a very basic questions. Again, not an audio-engineer.

Effect → Amplify defaults to whatever gain is needed for “maximized” 0dB peaks. That should get the volume up but if you select the whole file and there is one loud part, that loud part will determine how much gain you can get.

There is a Noise Reduction effect where you give Audacity a sample of noise-only as a “noise profile” but from what you’ve said the noise is bad and Audacity probably can’t remove the noise without damaging the good audio. (And of course, when you amplify you’ll boost the noise along with the signal.)