Working remotely has become very much the norm in 2020. With that has come a serious rise in the use of videoconferencing technology. Up until this year, most people had the odd interaction with it – probably largely using it to talk to friends and family from other cities rather than for meetings and conferences.
The key to getting videoconferencing right for work is to have a good setup for each person involved in the call. This is true from your one-off meetings with clients on the other side of the world to your daily catchups with your team. It’s important to foster a sense of you all being in the room together – as much as speaking into your computer or phone can let you.
The first way to make sure you feel like you are connecting with another human is to ensure you have the right camera for the job. On lower quality laptops or smartphones, the image can be grainy or blurred even if you have a high-speed internet connection and plenty of light on your face. It might be worth investing in an external camera to ensure that you are seen properly.
You also get cameras that can pick up images all around them, all 360 degrees. These are great for meetings where you have a few people in the same room and others on the line. You place the camera in the middle of the table, and it will pick up each participant. This gives the feel of everyone sitting around the same table even if they are on the other side of the world.
Laptop Stands And Tripods
We’ve all been in those calls where someone can’t get the camera at the right angle and you can see only part of their head or you’re looking up their nose because the device is too low. The best way to avoid this is use a stand to raise your laptop or smartphone up to eye level. Not only will this give the camera a better angle, more stable viewing angle, it’ll be much kinder on your neck and shoulders.
The next step is to improve your sound quality. A smartphone usually has a decent microphone but it is likely to pick up external sounds. On a laptop, your microphone is usually right next to the keyboard and the fan. The sounds of you typing and the fan turning on can be very loud when using the onboard microphone.
A podcast mic will help to block out a lot of the excess sounds from your environment. This is especially true if you get something that is directional and only picks up the sounds that are coming from right in front of it.
Finally, you need to make sure that you are well lit for your camera to pick you up clearly. You get plenty of small lights that are battery or USB powered. You can plug those straight into your computer or your smartphone, and get the light right where you need it.