Updated: Aug 10
We are all familiar with the start of a Zoom meeting; “Is the sound on” or “Your mic is off – Turn on your mic” this list goes on. Most often nowadays people just leave their video off. This could be for various reasons, maybe they are still in their PJs or the video quality is just too poor.
I have seen it all. As a video and streaming specialist, I have been in Zoom meetings with various audiences – “attendees”, from Ministers to Motivational speakers and Television Celebrities. I’ve witnessed all of them making the basic mistakes. Therefore, I have decided to write a series of articles (and show some videos too) on this topic.
Before I get into the equipment and all the details around streaming and multiple platforms, let’s kick off with the basics and best practices.
Can you identify with these mistakes?
Audio to soft
Face is just a silhouette
Video is noisy and grainy
Half of the persons face is cut off
Participant’s sound is on when it is not supposed to be
“Your internet connection is unstable” message displays a lot
Most of these can be avoided, why don’t we start today by talking about where to sit.
Where you are setup up for a meeting solves halve of the problem. If you are lying in bed or sitting on a couch, chances are all the above will occur (Except sound – Duvets are excellent for acoustics, but that is a whole other topic).
Bedrooms are also normally positioned far away from your WI-FI and the further you are, the weaker the signal gets and the more likely it is that your connection will drop. There are good solutions and WI-FI extenders available for this. Drop me a comment if you would like us to write an article on that topic or even make a short video about it.
So where should you sit? Position yourself close to the WI-FI where you have good reception.
Lighting is everything, make sure the front of you face is well lit. We will do an article on advance lighting and affordable setup soon.
Do not sit with your back facing an open window! Yes, it happens, more often than you would think. The camera of your laptop does not adjust the exposure well enough when there is a bright light right behind you.
Most people use a laptop, which needs elevation, so stack your laptop on a few recipe books or magazines, if you still have any of those lying around, until the camera is eye-level.
Use an external mouse and keyboard, should you happen to need your keyboard during meetings. When your laptop is eye-level it will prevent your face from going out of shot when you move forward or back, and over all your framing would be better.
Ideally you want to position your eyes on the upper third of your screen. As a last remark… make sure you also sit near a power outlet and that you are plugged in and turned on. I have seen interviews on live streams gone horribly wrong because people think their batteries last forever.
I hope this has helped you a little in better preparing for your next zoom meeting. We will tackle other topics in the coming weeks. If your company needs a live streaming specialist or you need some help in planning a marketing video, don’t hesitate to give us a call.