Follow these Pro Tips to Look and Sound Your Best in Your Next Virtual Meeting
The shift to video conferencing has resulted in a lot of cringeworthy virtual appearances. Our own video production team has received countless inquiries asking for advice on how to avoid looking like a ghoul in virtual meetings. We’ve heard you, so we put together a list of virtual meeting pro tips to help you look polished and feel confident at your next virtual meeting.
PRO TIP #1 – A Green Screen is Your New Best Friend
Even the best studio-quality lighting equipment will not conceal a distracting, overly busy background in your home. If you want for meeting attendees to focus on you and not your kitchen cabinets, kid’s toys or book titles on the bookshelf behind you, we recommend investing in a relatively inexpensive pop-up green screen like this one on Amazon. It will instantly hide clutter so won’t have to rearrange and redecorate your home office or living room every time you have a meeting.
A green screen will also allow you to choose a more custom, professional looking virtual office background that will impress your meeting attendees. You can even create a branded virtual office background that features your company logo for free! Whatever background you decide on, go for a plain, minimalist look and avoid anything that is too busy or distracting.
PRO TIP #2 – Find Your Light
Surely by now, we’ve all had to endure a session with a dimly lit coworker we can barely see or sit through a meeting led by a ghoulish-looking presenter. If only they had known about these simple lighting techniques that would have resulted in a more flattering look.
Invest in a ring light to illuminate your face and achieve a more flattering look. Don’t worry, you won’t need to spend a lot of money. Depending on the size, you can find a decent light for under $50, like this one we found on Amazon.
To avoid shadows on your face, make sure the light covers the area between your upper torso and just above your head. If you’re using a portable green screen (which we strongly suggest) you will need a second light aimed at the screen so your virtual background looks clear (and your head won’t disappear and reappear during the meeting. We’ve seen it, and it’s distracting).
PRO TIP #3 – Learn These Webcam Tricks & Tips
Now that you know how to light yourself, it’s time to get real about your webcam and accept that your laptop’s built-in camera may not be best suited for the job. Not only are laptop cameras typically lacking the resolution and software needed to look professional, the angle of many laptop cameras are often awkward and distracting.
Investing in an external webcam is a budget friendly way to improve your video quality. You can find top-quality webcams online and most electronics stores, but here’s a list of the top-rated webcams of 2020 if you need recommendations. No matter what option you choose, just be sure to place the camera at about eye level so you’re not looking up or down.
If you’re not interested in getting a new webcam, your smartphone can double as a perfectly fine camera that will get the job done! Most phones also have automatic focusing and color correction features that will elevate the quality of your livestream even more. Play around with webcam apps like EpocCam that will leverage your phone’s superior imaging sensors to make you look more in focus and color-corrected.
PRO-TIP #4 – Make Sure They Can Hear You Loud & Clear
We’ve all been there. That awkward moment when you cannot understand what the speaker is saying so you’re looking at other participants while wondering if it’s just you. You don’t want to be rude, so you smile and pretend that everything is ok. It’s not just you, this happens all the time due to poor sound quality!
Much like your laptop camera, standard laptop microphones cannot do the heavy lifting needed to deliver professional sounding audio.The solution is to get a dedicated microphone that will not only boost the quality of your sound, it will help eliminate background noise that will sabotage your meeting. We recommend securing your mic on a desk-mounted arm or stand to allow you to speak comfortably and confidently while eliminating shaking and other distracting noises.
PRO-TIP #5 – Dress for Success (and the Camera)
What you wear on-camera is especially important for your virtual meeting, and your favorite shirt or tie may not be the best choice. In the video production industry, we typically advise our clients to avoid wearing bright colors, stripes, or other patterns that can cause a strange optical effect for the viewer. We also encourage our clients to avoid wearing white because it can be visually overwhelming and “blind” the viewer. We advise sticking to camera friendly hues like neutral tones and light pastels like lilac or blue.
Another tip we have is to choose colors that compliment your intended background, not match it, otherwise it may appear that you’ve blended into your couch and wall! Avoid large, bold “statement” necklaces or jewelry that could cause discomfort, make distracting noises, and look otherwise silly on camera.
PRO-TIP #6 – No Slouching!
Just because you are at home does not mean you should act like you are home while you’re on a videoconference. Bad posture, elbows on the table and slouching result in bad camera angles that can quickly destroy any semblance of professionalism. Sit up straight and look directly into the camera to project confidence. While we’re on the subject, do not sit too close to the camera otherwise you’ll literally look like a “talking head”. When setting up a shot, we usually align the lens height to the talent’s eyeline for the most flattering look, but you can achieve this at home by elevating your laptop or camera on a desk or tabletop with several books.
Not everyone has access to a professional production crew that can coordinate every Zoom meeting for them, but with the right methodology and equipment, you can make it look like you do. Whether your meeting is hosted on Zoom, WebEx, Hangouts, Teams or FaceTime, following these virtual meeting pro tips will go a long way to present yourself in the most polished, professional manner possible. Remember, you never have a second chance to make a first impression- even in virtual events and meetings!
If you would like to learn more about virtual events and high-quality broadcasts to large unlimited audiences, contact the live stream experts at Lime Crane. Our team offers a rare mix of high-level expertise in Video Streaming Technology, Video Production, and client relations that you will not find anywhere else.