As everyone (well, most people!) now seems to be using Zoom for video meetings, I thought it was worth sharing 6 quick tips that will massively improve how to look, sound, and come across.
So let’s get straight into it!
Being well lit so people can see you properly is massively important. The best way to improve this is with lots of light. Try and get lots of natural light shining on you from the front. The easiest way to do this is to sit facing a window. Do NOT have a window behind as you’ll end up as a silhouette!
If your room is dark and/or poorly lit, one thing that will help is to have a dark background behind you (e.g. dark curtains) rather than a blank light coloured wall. Your camera will automatically adjust and brighten you up against a dark background so is a big improvement.
2. Camera position
Try and make sure your camera is at eye level. Nobody wants to look up your nose! If it isn’t, you can raise your laptop by sitting it on books or boxes. This is even more important to address if you’re using a tablet or phone as they are smaller and sit lower on your desk. You can of course use a tripod with them though.
3. Eye Contact
Try and look directly at the camera rather than other people on screen when speaking. This is something that takes a while to get used to but makes a huge difference. If you don’t, to other people on the call it looks like you are looking into their lap!
Audio is probably the most important part of any Zoom call. If you can’t hear other people, and they can’t hear you, you may as well not bother having the call! It’s far better to use an external microphone and headphones rather than the built in speakers and microphone of your laptop (or phone/tablet). This helps you hear people better and blocks out other noise from around you. Others will also hear you much clearer and there’s less chance of feedback and echo. Most smartphone earphones also have a microphone built into them and these work great plugged into your laptop.
Also, make sure that you mute yourself when not speaking to minimise background noise for everyone. A top tip for unmuting quickly to speak is to press and hold the spacebar while you talk and then release the spacebar to go back to being muted.
5. Looking Your Best
You probably want to look your best on camera. So as well as good lighting and camera angles, do make the same effort that you would for a face to face meeting. Zoom also gives a couple of options in the settings to help you. Go into your settings, select video, and tick the “Enable HD” option as well as “Touch up my appearance”.
If possible, try to have a non-cluttered background, and certainly not a huge mess behind you! One thing that can work well is the use of a roller banner as this can help get across your brand. There’s also a clever virtual background option that I previously made a video about here.
Finally, I’ll just say that you should set all the above up, and test everything out for optimal results way before you have your live Zoom call. Once you have a setup you’re happy with, it will only take a minute to have it all setup and ready again before every call.
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