How to Make a Good Impression Through A Webcam
Video meetings are more prevalent than ever. Are you ready to put your best digital foot forward?
Unlike in-person interactions, video meetings require a number of elements to be in-line for the call to be successful. Technical difficulties can be disruptive and frustrating and create an unprofessional impression. Thankfully, with a little preparation, you can detect and solve these issues in advance.
These tips will help you make sure the sound quality of your call is good, the visual is professional, and your behavior is appropriate and engaging. You can achieve a professional looking and sounding video call if you:
Choose the Right Location: The first rule of a successful video meeting is to make sure you have a strong internet connection. If you cannot find one, you may want to move to a different location for your call. Second, take your call from a professional-looking setting. A cluttered or busy background may distract viewers, make you appear unprepared, or detract from your overall message. Consider repositioning some of your personal items, hanging a simple backdrop, or choosing a different spot for your call. If possible, make a call from a location where you can be alone and your microphone won’t be contaminated by background sounds.
Use Appropriate Equipment: The microphone on your phone, computer, or webcam may not adequately pick up your voice for your video calls. Investing in a separate microphone or headset or earphones with built-in microphones can reduce any echoing, excessive or inadequate volume, or other sound issues you are encountering. Your chosen location may have adequate internet but not necessarily adequate light for your call; a lamp or other simple lighting addition can correct shadows and make you more visible to the members of the call.
Look at the Camera: Set your camera at or above your eye level. Your neck will thank you! Similarly, make sure you are evenly framed within your camera for the call. No one wants to make a call struggling to find you or looking up your nose!
Slow It Down: Speak slowly and clearly. Likewise, listen when someone speaks. Due to time lag on most calls, if you speak quickly or interject at random, you run the risk of garbling over others’ voices. Give yourself and those around you time to speak and be heard. If you will be on a call with multiple people on different devices, you may want to clarify how people will respectfully navigate speaking at the beginning of the call.
Test and Practice: Set up your call space well in advance. Call a peer ahead of time to test the quality of the sound and video. It can take time to develop your preferred professional persona on camera: A practice call to a mentor or trusted colleague from time to time probably wouldn’t hurt!
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