Your credibility and competence in video meetings can evaporate into thin air if you don’t have quality equipment, a respectable appearance and a nice environment. After all, you spend a lot of time and effort carefully honing your business image to instill confidence with others, so you should also extend your well-crafted image in video meetings as well. Here are five tips to give you an edge in your video meetings:
Looking Good on Video
- Webcam – A quality webcam makes a big difference if how your video looks. During a video meeting you can tell who has a quality high-resolution HD camera vs. a low-resolution camera. The Logitech C920x HD Pro ($70) and C922x Pro ($100) both support 1080p HD video and are excellent webcams.
- Lighting – Shadows and dark rooms can make your appearance very unflattering. The problem is worse during early morning meetings in winter. An inexpensive ring light ($7-$15 on Amazon) can clip onto your monitor and make you look much better.
- Body Position – Before entering a meeting, check your webcam preview to make sure your head/torso are centered in the frame and not too far away. I’ve been on too many meetings where you can only see the top of heads or faces are cutoff at the eyes or the person is too small.
- Camera Position – Is there anything less flattering than looking up someone’s nose during a video meeting? This is usually due to the person using the notebook’s webcam. This can be fixed by lifting the notebook webcam by putting your notebook on a stack of books or busy with a notebook a riser (about $20 on Amazon). If you are attending a meeting with your mobile phone, make sure you hold it at eye level and avoid moving it around too much.
- Background Awareness – Give some consideration to the background people see during your video meetings. Make sure your background is clean and uncluttered. A clever way to promote your brand is to create a custom background with your company logo; search YouTube for an easy tutorial. You also may be able to blur your background, but some video conferencing apps have certain hardware requirements for this feature.
Don’t be that person in a meeting whose sound is crackly or extremely loud. Check that your mic level isn’t too hot (loud) by going to your computer’s mic settings. You can also use your computer’s recording tool to make a test and play it back to check your sound quality.
Webcam Microphones are usually pretty good for isolating your audio only. But if you are in a noisy room or in a shared workspace, you will want to use headphones with a microphone. I recommend ear pods (e.g., Apple AirPods or similar) or over-the-ear headphone with boom mic (e.g., Logitech H820e wireless $180, Logitech H570e USB corded for $40). Gamer-style headsets are not my preference because their bulky appearance is a distraction, but they aren’t the worse thing I’ve seen in video meetings.
What’s in a Name?
Always check your name before you join a video conference meeting, especially if you share your Zoom account with another person. It’s embarrassingly common to see a spouse’s name or “iPhone” during meetings.
You can also use the name to give people more information about who you are and what you do. Don’t miss the opportunity for free marketing! Here are some suggestions:
Sarah Smith – Valley’s #1 RE Agent
Jack Notter – Immigration Law
Lisa Taylor – Delicious Desserts
Ryan Costello – Costello Insurance
Picture Perfect Profile Photo
Make sure you change the profile photo on your video meeting account. This is what people will see if you are not using your webcam or when you use the messaging. A professional headshot would be ideal, but you can also use your company logo to reinforce your brand. Avoid using a photo of your pet or a clumsily cropped vacation or party photo.
Rocking a Solid Internet Connection
You can be very disruptive to a video call if your Internet connection is weak and unstable. Others will see your video freeze up, or your audio become garbled which interrupts the flow of the meeting. In most cases, a bad internet connection is due to a weak Wi-Fi signal between your computer and your Wi-Fi base station antenna. You can get a cheap Wi-Fi extender, but the best and most reliable solution is a mesh Wi-Fi kit such as eero (about $170 at Amazon).
By Jake Nonnemaker