So, we’ve discussed how not to bore your audience, and how to engage thousands of live viewers at once. To top it off, here’s a quick three-point checklist and step-by-step guide you can blast through to make sure you’re at your best for any type of video call, whether it be a video interview, business meeting or just a quick video chat with the team.
Big, bright natural light is absolutely your best friend. Not only does it give the impression that you have a much higher quality camera – a must for anyone working with older tech, it also makes you look spry and healthy. Quite simply, the better the quality of light, the more you replicate the in-person experience.
- Find the largest window you can.
- Face that window so the light coming through can illuminate you and your immediate environment. Aim to sit directly in the middle of the light source to minimize shadows.
So you’ve locked down the lighting, next comes the best angle. The easiest way to describe this is; try to replicate the angle similar to your passport photo – this is called eye-level. It’s what you’d expect to see if you were with your contact in person.
- Place the device so the camera is set at eye-level.
- If you place the angle too high, or too low, you’re contacts will feel like they’re either towering over you, or you’re towering over them. Over a video chat, Both are unnatural and distracting.
Your lighting is perfect, the angles are at eye-level; now let’s talk the importance of environment. A noisy environment doesn’t just mean sound. Remember, when you’re using apps for business meetings, or doing a video call interview, the only thing that matters is what you say and what you look like when saying them. That bookshelf filled with your favorite titles, or that strategically placed copy of a groundbreaking business text is a distraction.
- At best, aim for a plain background – again, like the background found on a passport photo.
- Often this might not be possible, so check behind you and ask yourself if what’s there seems noisy – is anything moving, is it clean, is there anything at all that may take the focal point away from you at any point in the video chat?
[BONUS] Use Apps & Plugins
Hey, whose says you can’t cheat a little?
Obviously, if you’re at home you can prepare all this easily. But the entire point of apps for video calling is so you can keep in contact wherever and whenever, important given that almost half of us are working remotely. So what happens when you’re outside and have an urgent call? In these cases, you should have an arsenal of prepared business apps and plugins. The one we use is PerfectCam, a virtual makeup app for business video meetings – its filters do a good job of recreating the glow of natural light.
Finally, remember, at the very basic level video calling software is meant to replicate real-life meetings. If you bare this simple but important fact in mind first – as well as the quick hints here, the next time you’re hosting a video meeting or conducting a video interview, you’ll already be on the right side of things before you’ve even began.