Have you ever been on a video call and then Bob pops up and it’s his huge forehead with him breathing into the microphone? If not, you’re lucky because it’s jarring and pretty obnoxious to sit through.
Video conferencing is becoming the norm now. The way we have done business in the past is changing – there are more remote workers, video calls and collaboration. What does this tell us? Video needs to be a priority. It needs to be a priority because your clients are more than likely using video and if you aren’t – you’re missing a more meaningful connection.
We going to talk about some best-practices that you can do to improve the quality of your video call without having to throw more money at your system.
Lighting is the secret sauce to any quality video call. Proper lighting can make or break a video call. If you think about it, why do big video productions always have all those massive lights when they have $30,000 cameras? If those cameras need good lighting, your pinhole webcam probably needs it too.
Not enough light can cause your video to be grainy and make it look like you are some sort of recluse. But you're not! Too much light makes your video look washed out and bland. Take a look at your ambient light, is there enough?
A good practice is to have a light behind your camera. This has light hitting your face directly which takes care of the problem of shadows. Shadows on the face can inadvertently make you look like you are the crypt keeper. Having a direct facing light can put more emphasis on you as the presenter instead of what is behind you.
Speaking of what’s behind you, take a look. Is there a huge open-window? ALWAYS BE AWARE OF NATURAL LIGHT. This can work to your favor and create a unique looking video experience but it also can take you out at the ankles. Best practice is typically not to have an open window behind you because the glare can cause your webcam to mis-focus and wash you out.
“You got some bats in the cave Bob!”
I’ve said this before and I know I will say it again – no one likes to be loomed over. Having proper positioning of your webcam can make the entire call feel different. The point of video calls is to make the participants feel more connected and almost like they are in the same room.
If you are hunched over your camera and trying to talk into the mic from .000002 inches away – it’s going to feel more like you’re lurking over your participants. Best practice is to either bring your laptop up to a level position where your upper torso is mostly in frame. Of course this is no exact science so play around with what works best for your room.
WebEx gives you the ability to see yourself in the bottom right - USE IT!
TAKE A BEAT
It’s always a good idea to take a beat and look around your area. Is there a massive mess? Everyone’s office space can get away from them once in awhile but if your organization is video-heavy – it may be best to position yourself against a wall so your camera doesn’t have a deep field of view or keep the area behind you clean. You don’t want the distraction of clutter to take away from what you are saying.
Is there a whiteboard behind you? This is something that isn’t top of mind when using video but it can cause some major issues. You don’t want to expose data from another client when on an unrelated call. It’s something that is not major but worth checking.
These are just a few of the things that you can do to improve your video experience and that of your participants. Being able to use video efficiently increases engagement and improves overall team satisfaction. Video is not a fad and it’s not going away so mastering the art of video now will save you headaches in the future.
If you are interested in exploring what video collaboration options are available – we would love to talk. Our highly-certified collaboration engineers would love to discuss what collaboration options may be best for you.