Talking Points
September 2019

Videoconference Like a Pro

Videoconferencing is now a daily activity for many in the workplace. But poor connections, lighting, sound, and even bad habits can make it look like you don’t know what you’re doing. Here’s some helpful advice to make your virtual presence more pleasing and professional.

  • Check Your Settings
    Most web-meeting apps have adequate default settings. But you should still check. Enable video mirroring so things appear correctly on screen. Mute your microphone when joining meetings so attendees don’t hear you getting settled in. And be sure your automatic mic level adjustment is on.
  • Minimize Disruptions
    You’ll get better web-conference performance if you limit applications that compete for processing power and network bandwidth. Open your system’s task manager, and close any apps taxing your CPU, bandwidth, or memory.
  • Test Wi-Fi Ahead of Time
    Visit Speedtest.net and make sure your connection is delivering 1-2.5 Mbps up, and 2-8 Mbps down. If it’s not, move closer to the router, try switching between the router’s 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, or ditch the Wi-Fi and use an Ethernet cable.
  • Lights, Camera, Action
    Most built-in cameras are mediocre. A webcam, on the other hand, will provide a more natural appearance to the people on your call. Remember to mount it slightly above eye level. Lighting is trickier. Situate your primary light source behind your camera rather than behind you. Additional lamps can improve lighting. Also, avoid distracting backdrops. Plain walls, shelves, or houseplants work better than cluttered workspaces.
  • Audio is Everything
    Good video is important, but good audio is essential. Don’t rely on built-in laptop mics. Use an external microphone or headset instead. Make sure you’ve selected it as your app’s input source. And use headphones to prevent audio feedback.
  • Keep Things Professional
    Finally, be sure you present well. Clear your workspace of dogs, cats, and children. Watch what you wear. And don’t work on other projects (people can tell).

With these simple suggestions, you can be just as professional on video as you are in person. Put them into practice today, and bring your A-game to your next video call.

Based on How to Pull Off a Professional Video Call From Home by Kevin Purdy.

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