We’re all spending more time broadcasting from our homes. And we all want to look and sound great, especially when we’re using video for marketing purposes.
Here are five tips to help you set up your video conferencing space before your next big call.
1. Illuminate your face
Good lighting can help you look fresh and alert and convey a pleasing mood.
Place a lamp so it brightens your face from the front and doesn’t create shadows.
Minimize the amount of light behind you. Don’t sit in front of a sunny window; close those blinds.
2. Position the camera at eye level
Do whatever it takes to get your camera to eye level. (In this photo, Steve Schmidt, a regular TV commentator, shows us how it’s done.) Not only does this position make you look better, but it mimics a face-to-face interaction for your viewer.
P.S. The follow-on to this tip is to actually look into the camera, instead of at the video on the screen. This will make it appear that you are looking into the other person’s eyes. Don’t worry about this for meetings, but do make an effort if you’re filming a webinar or video that will be recorded and replayed to an audience.
3. Minimize outside sound
As much as possible, muffle other sounds for the duration of your call. This may mean using an interior room in your home for conference calls, where there is less traffic noise.
Pause the laundry machines and dishwasher. Turn off fans and loud ventilation systems, if you can stand it.
And, well, good luck distracting kids and pets.
4. Stage the scene behind you
Keep your background non-distracting, but don’t be afraid to show some character.
For a little guidance and a whole bunch of laughs, check out @ratemyskyperoom on Twitter, where they rate and give advice to TV personalities broadcasting from their homes.
5. Get dressed
Let’s face it, for most video meetings, just getting dressed is sufficient.
If you’re filming for the public or posterity, make more of an effort. Avoid small prints because they can be distracting on camera. Also choose colors that contrast with your background so you visually stand out.