Level up your Zoom game

August 14, 2020

Locking it Down 

How many Zoom calls do you think you've had since COVID-19 graced our lives? We reckon we've clocked up over 300 and counting! While video calls can sometimes go down like a bag of hot sick, there are some awesome ways you can use it to your advantage and broadcast your thinking and share ideas with your audience.

In this months' update we've put together some best practices, techniques and ideas you can use to turn that bag of hot sick into a bunch of roses.

Please note: These best practices apply to all conferencing tools including Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts and Cisco Webex Meetings.

Let’s get into it!

One of the most important habits to get into before joining any video call is to do some desktop housekeeping. Make sure to close any unnecessary tabs, programs, emails or any private stuff you don’t want the office pest to see. You might be unexpectedly asked to share your screen for one reason or another, so be prepared.

Audio/Microphone

  • Be mindful of the environment you are in, you want to minimise background noise and the chance of distractions. Turn off noisy appliances (fans, stereo etc) and close doors and windows if possible.
  • Not all laptop/phone microphones are equal. If you have a good external microphone, this will likely produce much better quality audio. Alternatively, Bluetooth earphones with built in microphones may produce better sound quality as the microphone is closer to your mouth.
  • If you are not talking for an extended period of time, mute your microphone.
  • For more formal meetings, when you start the call why not suggest everyone stays muted by default and raise their hand to take the floor.

Appearance

  • Aim to position your camera at eye level. You may need to elevate your laptop/camera to achieve this, but this will produce a much better angle and framing than having to angle the camera upwards.
  • Try to maintain eye contact with the camera, not your screen, you will come across much more engaging to your audience.
  • Don’t be afraid to use hand gestures and mannerisms that you would in person.
  • If on a business call, why not use a professional looking virtual background. This could have your business logo along with your main company colour.

Positioning

  • Think about where you are set up in terms of background and lighting. Try and avoid having a busy background and use natural lighting to your advantage if possible.
  • Avoid sitting in front of windows, the lighting can produce a harsh silhouette effect.
  • You want to ensure you have a strong and consistent internet connection during your video call. Try and position close to your modem, or use a hardwired Ethernet connection.

Wrap Up

Given the frequent nature of video calls in 2020, getting into a habit of key best practices will come second nature after a handful of meetings. 

  • Remember to consider your surroundings - close those windows and try to minimise background noise. 
  • Use a headset or headphones where possible. 
  • Engage with your audience and look them in the eye.
  • Position your camera to get your best angle and avoid harsh lighting.

For more advice on best practices or tools including personalised backgrounds, get in touch with us!

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