Tips for Videoconferencing from Home

Posted by Jane Mitchell on

When we first started working from home, it seemed like a novelty to with meet with people virtually. The technology was/is effective and easy to use.  Now, whether you are on WebEx, GotoWebinar, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams or another platform, we know that videoconferencing is here to stay.  And if you organize yourself once, it will pay off and save time.  Including your corporate brand in your meetings will reinforce your organization's mission and is a great way for employees to feel connected to the culture of the organization.  Here are 10 tips to optimize videoconferencing.

1) Lighting is key:  Think about having a three point lighting set up.  Face a light source (12 on a clock face) and ideally have additional light at around 11am and 2pm. Stay away from too much light coming from behind.  Natural light is great but not too much.

2) What to wear:  Wearing darker or bright colours is a good rule. Blues can be the most flattering.  Stay away from too many patterns or shiny material.  A button down, polo shirt, quarter zip are all good options.  Avoid narrow stripes.  Wearing clothing that has your organization's brand high enough up to be seen on camera is a great idea.

3) Camera angle: Having the videocam at or above eye level is the most flattering angle. 

4) Distance from the camera: Your image on camera should be far enough away to capture your shoulders and some of the room around you.  If necessary, you can push away from your desk.  Avoid having just your head in the frame.

5) Audio: Head phones or earbuds are both fine.  There is usually no need for a professional microphone.

6) Backdrop and Space behind: There are many options for your backdrop - an electronic scene can work. Avoid clutter and go for simple lines and an organized look.  Having a bookcase in the background is a good look as are plants.  Take a look behind yourself so that you see what everyone will see on camera and adjust or curate as necessary.

7) Desktop: If there is space on your desk or on a side table, you have the opportunity to include your organization's brand - whether it is a mug, water bottle, small desktop pop up banner, journal. You could include a stand with small flags with your company logo. 

8) Drinking/eating on camera: Drinking water or coffee is fine, but eating on camera is not recommended.

9) Demeanour: Sit facing the camera straight on with your shoulders back and a friendly open look.  Take a few minutes ahead of time to ensure you look polished. 

10)  Check your set up ahead of time:  Go online a few minutes early to make sure the technical side is working, have audio turned off ahead of time, invest in a webcam cover - these are inexpensive and very useful - they are available for all device sizes.

By: Jane Mitchell

Photo:  Dayne Topkin

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