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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