In the past year, video calling has skyrocketed as people take advantage of technology to meet with colleagues, customers, peers, friends, and family members virtually. People are presenting to their cameras instead of live audiences. With many of us using video calling (zoom, youtube, facebook live, etc.) for the first time, we thought it would be helpful to offer some tips for the best presentation.

1. Proper lighting

It is very important to set up good lighting. In fact, lighting is probably the most important aspect of a good looking video presence. Natural light works great, so position yourself in front of windows if possible — just watch out for sun or reflections that would cause you to squint! If the natural light is off to your side, make sure you add lighting to your other side to minimize side shadowing.

A ring light works great for video calling as it provides the right amount of the right shade of light, diffused and even looking on your face. You can get ring lights with tripods and a phone mount to give you an excellent setup for your video calling. If a ring light is not an option, experiment with placing lamps to your left and right and near eye level to provide nice, even lighting. Avoid sitting with a light source behind you, as it will turn you into a silhouette to viewers. Lastly, make sure you test your lighting setup before going live!


2. Good background

You want the focus to be on you, not what’s behind you. Try to set your background to be simple, clean, and plain, with a pleasing color. You might also want to position yourself parallel to the back wall so any visible side and back walls (plus shelves and furniture) do not appear to be askew. Your room doesn’t have to be perfect, just what is visible on the camera.

Some video calling platforms allow you to edit or replace the background, as long as your background is a clean, solid color. If you do choose a “zoom background”, make sure it looks good with your attire and lighting and it’s appropriate for your presentation.


3. Camera position

Position your laptop or phone so the camera is at eye level to give you a natural, conversational appearance. Looking up or down at the camera can lead to an awkward and unflattering look as the lense may distort your features or create unwanted shadows.

Experiment with your distance from the camera as well. You want to be close enough to be the main subject instead of part of the background, yet not so close as to be awkward or distorting. Start about 18″ from the camera and see how that looks on the screen.

4. Posture and body language

Aside from just your position with respect to the camera, you also want to watch your body posture, positioning and movements as well. You want to be in a natural, comfortable position with nice posture and you need to pay attention to any movements or inadvertent body language that is distracting from your presentation. It can be easy to forget this because you are just on camera, and not in front of real people.

5. Dress for success

Attire for a video call is generally more casual than in-person presentations— unless your video call is for an interview or high-level work meeting. Then you want to dress more professionally. And while it’s common to only think about what you’re wearing on top, just make sure you don’t get up or that your camera doesn’t show below your waist! As long as you won’t be seen from the waist down, go ahead and wear sweats or shorts if that makes you more comfortable!

Bonus tip — test and practice!

One last tip is to test and practice before going live to make sure your lighting, background, camera position, body posture, and clothing look the way you want to appear on video. Watch a few presenters online and see what looks good and what doesn’t in other presentations.



By | 2021-06-15T14:57:30-05:00 June 18th, 2021|TCC Blog Articles|Comments Off on 5 TIPS FOR VIDEO CALLS

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