The last 6 months has seen video conferencing become the standard for meetings, it’s been quite some time since I’ve met a client in a coffee shop and longer still since I’ve shaked someone’s hand.
As the world has moved online, services like Zoom and Teams have become the norm, but many people have struggled with both sound and picture quality.
The items below represent some inexpensive bits of kit that will significantly improve your video conferencing experience.
- Get an External Microphone
Unlike in the movies microphones are not really designed to pick up sound from far away, so if you are using a laptop or web cam with a built in microphone the chances are your mouth will be around a meter or more from the microphone so the audio will be rubbish, worse still if you are not directly in front of the device.
Adding an external microphone will allow you to bring it much closer to you and as a result improve the sound quality for your listeners immensely.
2. Position your camera
When we meet people in person we tend to be at eye level with each other, either standing or sitting down. But when we meet in the virtual world that often goes out of the window. Some have their cameras at the top of the screen giving the appearance they are being looked down upon, while others have their cameras below the screen, this gives they appearance they are being looked up to and often adds multiple chins!
So try to get the camera at eye level, if you are using a laptop you can put it on a pile of books bringing it to the right level. If you are using a phone or external camera a flexible tripod will allow you to attach the camera to almost anything that brings it to the right level.
For those using their phone a tripod also reduces the risk of the of the Digby Chicken Ceasar effect as wandering around the house is no longer an option.
3. Improve your Lighting
Lighting makes a huge difference to video calls, but often the way we set up our work environments means that all the light is behind or to the side of us. Adding a simple ring light to illuminate your face will allow even the most basic webcam to pick up more detail and get rid of the fuzzy, grainy looking image.
* Pouting optional