So you’ve paused the Great British Baking Show just long enough to join for your daily team conference call. You grab your headphones, sift through your busy inbox for dial-in information when suddenly, a ping! “Video ON for today’s call. Let’s see those smiling faces!”
No need to panic! Your friends here at MAG have got your back.
Through years of supporting clients around the globe, we’ve developed a few best practices for video conferencing. So change out of your pajamas, take down that Metallica poster, and check out our tips below!
BACKGROUND AND DEPTH
Unless you’re already a social media influencer, you probably don’t have a ready-to-film production set in your home. Before you rush to paint your walls in “Special Effects Screen” green, you should know that natural is IN.
While it is good to minimize clutter behind you, showing your background will actually add personality and depth to the shot. The result? A professional but engaging visual that sets a tone for your video conference.
Selecting appropriate placement for your camera or laptop is key. Anyone who has been visually accosted by an unexpected front facing camera can agree…it’s hard to recover from an angle that is too low or too high.
You’ll want to make sure the camera is eye level and that you’re looking straight into it, not down at the screen. It may feel unnatural at first, but so did Netflix! And where would we be without that.
Noises that normally wouldn’t seem disruptive can be MUCH louder on video (looking at you car horns and upstairs neighbors). So when you’re not speaking, it is always best to stay on mute to minimize interruptions.
When you’re ready to speak, remember to unmute and talk clearly. Try speaking at your regular volume…after all, you’ll need your voice to yell back at those car horns and upstairs neighbors.
Remembering to mute and unmute can be challenging, but your colleagues and clients on the line will thank you!
A crucial piece of video conferencing is lighting. You’ll want to evenly distribute existing light in front of you and avoid backlighting where possible. Natural light is always best, so try to position yourself near a window for maximum glow.
Video conferencing with “Blair Witch Project” lighting is distracting and can derail your meeting. So make like a high school theater student in their senior production of Grease and find your light!
What to wear, what to wear…we’ll tell you! Clean and simple is the way to go when selecting an outfit for a video conference. Try to avoid striped, patterned, or checked clothing as it causes camera “shaking” which affects your video.
It may be tempting to rock the dress shirt / gym shorts combo, but going all the way with professional wear will make you feel more confident and help you avoid any unexpected gaffes along the way.
If we’ve learned anything from X seasons of The Real Housewives of New York, it’s that the camera catches everything. To avoid any wine-throwing miscommunications be aware of your posture and eye contact during the video conference.
Avoid responding to emails or perusing Buzzfeed articles while on the call. You may think you’re smooth, but we promise that your colleagues can tell. So close those extra tabs and stay engaged to set a positive and professional tone for your video conferences.
For the average user, your computer’s internal camera and microphone will be sufficient for video conferences. But you’re not reading this blog because you’re average … you’re here to get that video conference glow-up! Our recommendation for you? Invest in advanced video technology to elevate your meetings.
To help sharpen up your video and audio, consider purchasing an external mic or external camera. Another great investment to brighten up your conferences is an attachable ring light. Most versions of these tech plus-ups connect directly to your laptop via USB attachment making them an easy-to-use and very worthy purchase.
Looking to take your video conferences to new heights? MAG offers a range of Virtual Experience services including home studio kits for presenters, branded virtual team-building packets, and custom virtual happy hours. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Virtual Experience page here.