The early part of 2020 has seen drastic change in how we live and function. The majority of our “face-to-face” communications are now happening via a webcam. And while the idea of separate but together isn’t new, it has been the theme during this quarantine. Many different teleconferencing and video communications apps and devices are seeing a boom in usage and purchases. Facebook’s Portal, which was slow to take off at best, has now sold out as families are looking for ways to stay connected and not miss out on time together. Zoom, as you can see below, has grown 10 million daily meetings to 300 million in 5 months!
The thing about all of us using our home office set ups to communicate is that many of these spaces were never meant to be used this way. Most people have their backs to windows and have never thought about getting a decent microphone.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten the question “what can I do to look better on the webcam?”
Chances are you’ve covered the lens with something adhesive before and that residue could still be there. Maybe you’re on a laptop and your camera sits right where your thumb goes to lift the screen? Give it a quick wipe to clean it off.
If you’re in front of windows or a bright room, you’re going to look like a silhouette or very grainy as the webcam tries to compensate. Close the blinds, turn the computer around, or put a soft big light in front of you.
When shooting and setting up a camera, one of the first things you learn is to keep the camera eye level or a little higher to your subject. It’s a more flattering angle and puts them eye-to-eye with the viewer.
Unless you live alone (including no pets) or have a private space, chances are there’s noise happening in your living space. Having a headset with a microphone allows you to have the mic closer to your face and it will pick you up better.
Most generic computer mics will try to even out the sound it hears. So you and the barking dog or the kid screaming at a video game will all be at the same level and that’s not good.
We hope these quick and easy tips will to improve the look and sound of your next online meeting. If you’re looking to upgrade your set-up or have any other questions, just let us know!