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Virtual Working: Video Tips

Author: Jake Russel

Ever been on a video call only to notice a sneaky insight into your customer’s personal life through all the photo frames on the wall? It’s little oversights that can make a significant dent in a client’s view of your professionalism.

With video conferences and calls now playing a critical role in business communication, it’s essential that you are maximising the opportunity to leave the right impression – or perhaps more importantly in this case, ensure you don’t make the wrong impression once the call is done.

In this blog, you’ll find simple but effective steps you can take to pull off distraction-free video calls every time, leaving you free to add maximum value for your clients.

Lighting

Where you sit (or stand if you’re feeling fancy) plays a massive role in whether you are visible on a video call or just a talking silhouette.

 

  1. Always sit somewhere you are lit from the front, whether the light source is a window, desk lamp or ceiling lamp. If you are lit from behind, the camera on your device adjusts itself to reduce the intensity of the light hitting the lens, leaving you dark and poorly lit.
  2. On that note, if you do have a desk lamp or a light close to you, try not to have it directly in front of you as this will just act as a bright spotlight on part of your body and the camera again will adjust to this making the rest of you dark and not visible.

Audio

It’s important to have a clear microphone that enables you to speak clearly to be understood. If you’re using a laptop, make sure you are close enough to the mic and that you check regularly that the mic is working. We’d recommend where possible to use an external mic such as a headset or headphones with a built-in microphone. These often have technology that reduces ambient noise to help cut out other sounds in the room, and the microphone is designed to be directional, meaning that by design, it picks up the noise closest to it – your voice, not the kettle in the kitchen.

Talking of kettles, try and find somewhere quiet and distraction free so that you’re not drowned out by the neighbour’s dog or Frank mowing his lawn at 11am for no reason.

Camera

Often, you will be using your laptop’s built in camera, which is usually fine. Make sure it’s clean and free of dust or smears to be as clear as possible. You can always plug in a higher quality camera if yours doesn’t do the job.

Be aware of your surroundings and what’s in your camera’s field of view. You don’t want everyone having a gaze through your family photos on the wall behind you or distracted by the pair of pants on the drying rack. Have a clear/ clean background if you can, but feel free to add some neutral elements like plants or bookshelves to add a little life to what’s on screen.

In conclusion…

Finally, the most obvious and most forgotten tip of them all; don’t be that person who forgets to unmute when joining a call. You’re welcome.