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[NEW VLOG]: How to look good for Video Conferences

25th March, 2020

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Web conferences are the new normal and all of us are bound to need to collaborate over Skype, Zoom, Gotomeeting etc over the coming weeks/months. This vlog from Dead Ready Director Chris Tongue, offers three tips on how to make sure that you stream/webcast yourself clearly – and look good doing it! Transcript below:

Hi. With most of us working from home now and all events and meetings taking place online, it’s important to not only know how to look good in a web conference, but to also make sure that you can be clearly seen and understood. This counts double for anybody who is used to presenting at a large scale event, where there might be a whole technical team there to make sure you’re both lit beautifully and can be heard very clearly by everybody in the room.

Online, you’re going to have to get used to being your own technical team, but fortunately, the essentials are pretty easy to get right. So here are three tips on how to look good for video conferencing.

Number one is lighting.

It’s essential to get your light source falling on your face, to make sure you don’t appear as a silhouette, so make sure you don’t shoot with your back towards a window. Natural light is often most flattering, so try to set your camera up underneath a window, where the light from outside can illuminate your whole face. This isn’t possible for everyone, it’s not possible for me, so alternatively, to increase the light on your face, consider just putting in a household lamp behind the camera. It really does make a massive difference.

Number two is sound.

Poor quality audio is arguably worse than poor quality visuals as people have a far lower tolerance for content they can’t hear. Most laptops have built-in microphones, which are usually pretty good these days, but just remember that the further you are away from your laptop the worse the sound quality will be. I’m shooting this video with a professional microphone that I happened to have in the house when the lockdown was announced but your laptop microphone is usually ok. I would just consider buying one of these options if you’re going to be doing this on a regular basis.

Number three is composition.

This one isn’t the most important, but a standard approach is to put yourself in the middle of the frame, with a little bit of your shoulders showing. It’s also a good idea to try to keep your camera at eye level, because shooting from a low angle is pretty unflattering. Remember also to have a look at what you’re capturing in the background to make sure that you’re not capturing anything sensitive, personal or embarrassing. Neutral backgrounds are usually a safe bet, but just try not to put yourself right up against a wall, because it’ll make you look like you live in a broom cupboard.

So there you go, three simple tips to make sure that you represent yourself clearly in a video conference and look great doing it.

Stay safe. We’ll see you next time.

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