Every video call these days has people joining from home and it’s not changing anytime soon. While you are likely to be satisfied with how others are being presented, have you thought about how others are seeing and hearing you? If you are hard to hear, or your equipment produces echo and/or other annoying noises, you become a disruption. No one wants to be that person. Be a PRO in a video call.
It’s easy to prevent or fix. Let’s start with the basics.
- Choose a quiet location. If this is not possible, use good quality noise cancelling headphones.
- Busy / messy backgrounds are quite distracting. A plain background always works best. Many software providers have filters or backgrounds. While they are less than perfect, it’s better than your disheveled bookshelf or people moving about behind you. In addition, if your location can’t be improved, you’ll be forgiven for muting your camera.
- Keep pets, partners, and children at a distance.
- Use a device that has a good microphone or use an external mic. USB mics are very good these days and inexpensive.
- Point external mics towards you and only use Uni-directional ones. Omni directional mics will pick up sound in every direction and that is not good for the small / home office or for when you are alone somewhere noisy.
- Stay a reasonably consistent distance from the mic. Doubling distance reduces your sound levels by a factor of four.
- Make sure any battery device is charged.
- Check your mute status. It happens all the time that people try to talk and they are muted.
- Speak normally and please don’t shout. If you can’t be heard, yelling won’t help. Find the issue and fix it.
- AVOID – Darkness and full sunlight. Most cameras will not be able to compensate for these extremes.
- Position the camera as close as you can get to eye level. If you are using a mobile or tablet, get a stand. Low angles are often not flattering, and we don’t want to spend the meeting looking up your nose (that’s happened).
- Position the camera so we can see your head and shoulders. It’s what most people expect to see and your image will be the right size when displayed in a conference room. The exception to this would be if you are demonstrating something or using a white board.
- Use diffused lighting from a source in front and above you. Desk lamps or standard lamps work fine. Cheap ‘selfie’ lights are easy to acquire and work well. Turn on normal room lights too.
- PLEASE: No bright light sources from behind you including windows and doorways. You will have a halo and look ghostly.
- If you are screen sharing, be careful of incoming notifications like emails or social media.
- Eating and drinking while on a call is bad manners. If it’s a personal call, tea/coffee, and water is probably okay, but eating is a no-no.
- Personal grooming: 4k up close can reveal a lot about your attention to detail. Unless a tooth brush is close by, Tabouli for lunch before a video call is a poor choice.
Need additional tips to look and sound like a pro in a video call?
Fast Track is your professional team, and we love what we do! Talk to us before you start and save yourself some pain. If what you have needs fixing, we will be happy to help. Certainly, talk to one of our professional team members about the best solution for your requirements. Fill out the form here and contact us today. As always, we are here to help!