You don’t have to own a production studio to look the part on camera. Now, more than ever, there are many low-cost methods and equipment to help you look your best on all of your virtual calls. Keep reading for some pro tips on how to make your office, or anywhere you are working today, the ideal backdrop for virtual meetings and presentations.
- It’s true…you should buy a ring light.
Ring lights have gained popularity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as people have started to invest a little more into their work-from-home spaces. If you don’t know what a ring light is, the name pretty much says it all. It is a small, ring-shaped light that is meant to be placed behind your computer or phone screen (or whichever device you’re using for a webcam) to make you appear brighter on-camera. The lighting is known to be quite flattering and can disguise blemishes, truly putting you in the “best light” on-camera. Features typically include a few different levels of brightness to choose from, as well as a tripod to secure your phone into if you so choose. When your audience can see you bright and clear, you automatically appear more professional and are more likely to keep people’s attention. You can purchase a ring light for as little as $15 on Amazon.
- What does your background say about you?
Most video chat platforms offer the ability to change to a virtual background or blur your real-life background before you join a call. However, if having virtual meetings has become your new normal, why not make your actual backdrop look just as good? If possible, try taking calls in front of a wall that’s painted neutral color with a little bit of visual interest. Dress up your background with a plant or two, some books, any props that are minimalistic and add substance to your space without being too distracting. On the other hand, some examples of objects to avoid include: loud artwork, large groups of photographs, and of course, you should try to avoid having any household messes in the background such as piles of clothes or dirty dishes. Even if they exist in real life, that doesn’t mean you have to position your camera in front of them. Think of it this way—the less distractions you have behind you, the more your audience will be focusing on you while you’re speaking.
- Let’s talk audio
Chances are, the audio that’s built-in to your computer, laptop, or mobile device is sufficient on its own. However, if you find that you’re often the presenter, it might be worth taking your audio capabilities to the next level to ensure that your voice is being heard loud and clear. On a basic level, there are some best practices you can start following now. One of the most important factors of having clear audio is your internet connection. If your connection isn’t great, that’s a sure way to experience breaks in your sound. If you have multiple devices connected to your home Wi-Fi, it might be time to upgrade your internet package. Another piece of equipment to consider for your work-from-home setup is a headset that features an external microphone. This will help you sound louder and clearer to your audience, and will also block out all background noise for both you and your audience. It’s a great way to minimize distractions and guarantee you sound your best. A set of wireless headphones can accomplish a similar effect, but the sound quality will be a bit better with a headset.
Now that we’ve covered the big three aspects of how you show up on webcam—lighting, backdrop and sound, we invite you to join us for more insider tips through our Speaker Dynamics University course, Elevating Your Personal Production Value. Learn more about the course, here. We hope to see you online soon!