It’s a fact: video calls have become an integral part of our daily life, be it for business purposes or simply for connecting with our families.
With more and more staff and client interactions being held online, just ‘logging in’ to your video conferencing platform of choice and starting the session is no longer going to achieve the outcome you need.
Many of us find this new way of communicating boring, inefficient and extremely tiring, so much so that ‘Zoom fatigue‘ has become a new hip syndrome.
The good news is that there’s a way to revamp the way we make video calls and do it in a way that is less wearing for us and for our audience.
Here are some easy and simple tips to follow that will certainly result in an overall much better and successful experience:
1. The Frame
Check you frame. Since your audience has a limited view, you want to give them the best picture possible. That means pointing the camera and positioning your laptop so that they can see a clear and well framed image of yourself. Have a clean background, make sure your face is clearly and entirely in the frame, not too close, not too far away.
2. The 4 Cinematic Rules
4 things to always check whenever you connect on a video call:
Angle: the lens of your device should be at eyes level. Place it too low and your audience will explore a dive of your nostrils, place it too high, and your scalp will be the centrepiece of the call.
Light: your source of light should come from your front: having a window in front of you will light your face and not affect the webcam. The bright light of window will force your webcam to darken the whole picture, making you look like a silhouette.
Background: make sure your background is clear and uncluttered, if you cannot do that then you can use a virtual background. If you opt for the latter use a plain colour and avoid animated or busy images that will result in an additional unnecessary distraction for your audience.
Sound: check your sound system, if your device has a poor microphone, your voice will sound distorted or pick up a lot of unnecessary background noise. Consider buying a headset, not only you will sound clearer to your audience, but you can also avoid shouting and speak more naturally.
We’ve all seen the ‘memes’ showing virtual conferences where one person is not wearing trousers (or worse) and stands up revealing way too much! At times, heads are cut off, audio quality is poor, lighting is bad and more.
A bad set up leads to a bad user experience, people stop paying attention and the outcome of the session is reduced.
A good set up should include external microphones, HD webcams, clean backgrounds, good lighting, fast internet.
3. Breaking-up the content
If you are delivering a business presentation, holding a training or presenting a project, remember to break up the content frequently and in different ways. This is an elemental rule for any presentation, and it becomes even more important when we deliver it virtually. The attention span of our online audience tends to be quite short, so we need to use both the video conferencing tools and facilitation skills to connect better with the participants. This can make a big difference in the amount of information they will be able to retain as well as the overall experience. Consider asking questions frequently, creating polls and inviting dialogue in breakout rooms.
Paying attention to these small yet affective details will make a massive difference in your overall video conferencing experience, automatically enhancing your productivity and engagement.