How to Improve your Videoconference Call

These days, we’ re connecting with others more and more via videoconferencing. How do you think you come across on your video call? I believe that the way people see and hear us online is terribly important and if you want to come across well virtually, there are some things you ought to think about.

First of all, connect an external microphone. It doesn’t have to be expensive and fancy. Most external USB mics will give you much better sound than the built-in mic on your laptop.
Choose a nice quiet location with no barking dogs, shouting kids or pots and pans clanging in the kitchen. You’ll be surprised how distracting some background sounds can be. Rooms with curtains, carpets, rugs and furniture will make you sound better than a room with ceramic tiles, high ceilings and lots of windows and glass.

If the room has a window, make sure it’s behind the computer and not behind you. If you need extra lighting, try to soften it by using curtains (with direct sunlight) or a diffuser (for artificial light sources like lamps or LED lights). You can also bounce light off walls or the ceiling or use a white table cloth or white paper to reflect light off a table or desk. You may have to play with your lighting conditions for a while until you’re happy with the result.

The camera or webcam position also matters. If you’ve ever had to stare at the hairs inside someone’s nose for half an hour during a meeting, you’ll know how important this is!
Some laptop webcams are badly positioned and you may need to place your laptop on a pile of books to get it to a higher position.
Separate USB webcams can offer a better quality picture and you also have the option of mounting the webcam on a small tripod to position it exactly where you want.
Look behind you. Is there anything that might distract the viewer, like a colourful poster or ornament? Is there anyone else in the picture? Make sure your husband isn’t folding laundry and your wife isn’t playing games on her VR headset behind you!
And check your appearance, too. Is your hair tidy? Is your shirt clean? Any lettuce between your teeth from lunch?
And finally, don’t forget that the mute button is your friend. Use if when you’re not speaking. This will stop other people being exposed to your tapping pen, your crying baby, your dog barking and your paper rustling, among other things!

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