No matter what it is you do, video calls and online meetings are a big part of modern life. Be it a quick catch-up with your boss, or a high-stakes presentation to a group of potential investors, appearing and speaking on camera is a daily way of life for many of us. That is why we’ve put together a few handy hints to ensure that you always look your best.
Here are Explosive Brand’s 5 tips to improve your video calls.
Not all cameras are created equally. Chances are, if you’re using a laptop for your video call, your inbuilt webcam will max out at just 720p. Now that’s okay for most situations. However, we would recommend that you try and get yourself an external 1080p, Full HD webcam. It will offer a greater degree of detail to your image and also let in a lot more light, making you look better.
If you’re using the one built into your laptop, people will be able to hear you and you’ll sound okay-ish. However, if the call is being recorded and people are listening back to it later, it won’t sound great. We’d recommend that you use an external microphone.
These are very affordable and simply plug in via USB to your laptop or desktop computer, offering a greater degree of sound capture. You can also get ones that incorporate both a speaker and a microphone that offer echo-cancelling, meaning that you’ll sound great and so will the people on the call.
If you’re sat in an open office with lots of daylight, you should appear bright enough on most of your calls. However, if you’re not, or if you’re working from home with a brick wall on the other side of your camera, we heartily recommend you get a light.
It doesn’t need to be anything expensive like a ring light; it can just be a portable desk lamp that at any moment can pulled into view to throw a bit more light on your face. It will make a difference.
So you’ve got the camera, microphone and lighting. However, that will all go to waste if your internet connection is poor. Weak, unstable internet connections mean that your image will pixelate, your sound will disrupt, and you might completely drop out of the call altogether.
Although your go-to internet connection is probably WiFi, if you’re in the office or if you’re working from home, do consider a wired internet connection. We heartily recommend using a powerline connection which plugs in near to your router and uses the building’s power cables to transport an internet signal. They offer reliable, stable WiFi all the time.
Make sure that your webcam is roughly at your eye level. Most people on the video call will appear below your camera, on your screen, so try to ensure that they appear as close as possible to your actual camera. This will create the impression that you are looking directly at them, helping you to establish a connection. Eye contact, or as close as you can get to it, is really important.
And finally, don’t forget what’s going on in the background. If you’re in an office, you’ll probably be fine. You might be a blank wall or maybe some nice plants that have been intentionally bought to make the backdrop of a video call look professional. If you’re at home, ensure your background is clear of mess and doesn’t contain anything overly distracting. You need people to be focusing on you and what you’re saying and not what’s going on in the background.
So… follow those five simple tips and wow your colleagues with just how amazing you look.
While we have you… if you’re looking to take to your video calls and online to the next level, check out Ignite, our next-generation video service.