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The secrets to looking good on your online video calls

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1. Camera Position/height 

Camera height and positioning are important for your zoom calls as you want to have the best video display of yourself. Try having the camera at or a bit above your eye level. This ensures you are not looking down at your camera. If you are looking down at your camera your viewers will only be looking up at you. This is not the best angle looking directly up your nose. In addition, do not sit too close to the camera as this will distort your face. This is as most phone and computer cameras are wide lenses.
Opt to sit at a moderate distance to the camera not too close. But also not too far that no one can see you properly. When using a laptop try placing it on top of a pile of books or on a surface that is the right height. Or even better a sturdy music stand as you can adjust the height of your camera. With a phone, try rest it on something or hold it up but this may get tiring.

2. Audio quality 

Good audio quality ensures that the other members of the call can hear you clearly and at an appropriate volume. Having a microphone that is directed to you will give you a better result. Rather than just using your phone or computer microphones as these will be a greater distance. Simply even using wireless earbuds or chorded earbuds will limit the amount of background sound you have. Plus, give a clearer more directed sound. If you want to get more advanced, having a plugin microphone that can be attached or a lapel mic will produce much better quality. In Zoom, you can adjust the settings to choose the type of mic you will be using.
Okay: The original microphone on the device
Good: Wired or wireless earbuds
Better: a plugin shogun mic or lapel mic

3. Camera quality 

The camera quality on computer and laptops vary between models and generations. Usually, if the camera is clean and there is good lighting you will get a sufficient image. Doing it on your phone will more likely give you a better-quality image but it can be hard to see everyone on your phone. Laptop cameras are low resolution so opting for an attachable webcam may be worth your while, or even connecting a camera to your computer will give you a better result if you are willing to go the extra mile.
Okay: The original camera on the device
Good: An attachable webcam  
Better: Attaching a camera to a laptop

4. Internet speed and connection 

This is important to stay connected and ensure your audio and video do not lag and that you are connected throughout the meeting or call. Before the Zoom meeting check that you are connected to your internet properly. If it appears to be slow sometimes restarting your home modem can help. Having a secure connection will make it an enjoyable experience and you won’t miss any important information either. 

5. Lighting 

Lighting is possibly one of the most important considerations in a zoom call. The incorrect lighting can ruin your appearance on Zoom calls as it can overexpose the camera, cast shadows across your face or turn you into just a dark silhouette. To get the best results, avoid having a light next to you as this will create shadows on one side of your face and avoid having a backlight or sitting in front of a window. Doing this will turn you into a silhouette and cause the camera to overexpose the image. Your best option is to turn around and face the window or have one consistent light source in front of your face behind the camera. This will create a soft, clean image that will impress the others.
Okay: sitting in a lit room
Good: Facing a window or having a light source directly in front  
Better: Using a large ring light or a soft modelling light

6. Background

A plain simple background is best suited or choosing your own photo to insert behind is just as effective. Having a no disturbing background without people walking will limit distractions. Consider where in your house you sit as well and what can be seen in the background such as a messy kitchen. Aim to sit in a location that has a more neutral background without distractions.

7. Disturbance 

So everyone can hear you on your call, try to make sure you are not getting downed by background noise in your home or office. Find a quiet space with minimal disturbance as the last thing you want is your children screaming in the background. This will lead to a more productive meeting or enjoyable experience.

8. Appearance 

When on a zoom call to look professional or good appearance matters too. Try ensuring prior to the call you have a clean ironed shirt at least as that is all they can see so staying in your pyjama pants is completely fine! Try to stay away from busy shirts as these can be blurry for the viewers. Solid coloured simpler shirts are just as effective. Ensure you do the basics as well, so comb your hair, clean your teeth, have a fresh-looking face and shave or apply makeup if required. 

Hopefully, all these tips and suggestions assist in improving your Zoom call experience. 

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