Be a Videoconferencing Virtuoso
10 Tips for Your Home Office
In the time of COVID-19, lots of us have had to get used to working from home. Even as restrictions ease up around the country, many people will continue to take the safe route by staying home and communicating through one of the many videoconferencing platforms. If you haven’t already set up your home office videoconferencing system, or have encountered some bumps in the road, here are some tips to remedy common issues:
1. Get Up to Speed.
Make sure your internet is high speed and working properly. If you have spotty Wi-Fi, consider using a hardwired connection.
2. Perfect Your Glow.
Lighting is key. If the lighting in your room comes from behind you, you’ll look like a silhouette. The best light will come from in front of you and light up your face. If you have any overhead lights or one light source off to the side such as a window, try to fill in dark areas using additional lighting such as a soft desk lamp.
3. Make Your Voice Heard.
If you’re in a quiet room, you may be able to use your computer’s microphone. But you may want to consider a headset and built-in mic to optimize the audio for you and your audience, or choose to use a phone connection, rather than the computer, for audio. Remember to mute your audio when you’re not talking (and if you’re using a phone for audio, you’ll want to mute your computer’s mic).
4. Level with Us.
Just as in real life, when meeting with someone you’ll want to look each other in the eye. Your camera should be eye level. Use objects to prop up your laptop or adjust your seat at your desktop monitor and be sure to look at the camera when you’re talking.
5. Keep Your Pants On.
What to wear? When choosing clothing, stay away from anything too black or white, which can throw off the camera’s ambient light reading. Also, don’t wear stripes or patterns that could create a moiré pattern in the camera.
6. Look Back.
Keep your camera’s line of sight clean and free of clutter. Be mindful of anything behind you. Now’s not the time to air dirty laundry or a sink full of dishes.
7. Don’t Overshare.
If you think you’ll be sharing your screen during a call, make sure your computer’s desktop is clean and professional. You don’t want your boss to see your Amazon cart.
8. Close the Door.
It’s tough eliminating noises at home (just ask the Supreme Court justices). If possible, choose a space with a door and keep distractions on the other side. Run the dishwasher some other time. If you’re on a conference call when the doorbell rings and Fido starts barking, hit your mute button.
9. Get Comfortable.
Now that you’re spending all your time at your home desk, make sure you’ve got ergonomics in mind. Use a proper desk chair with lumbar support and be sure to get up and move around throughout the day. Consider a standing desk, since you won’t be making those water cooler trips anymore.
10. Ready to Roll.
Once you’ve gotten your videoconferencing area set up and ready, test call a friend or colleague to make sure you’re happy with everything. Take a screenshot of yourself to check your lighting and test the connection and audio as well. And remember, there are a number of platforms in use today, so prepare accordingly. You don’t want to wait until meeting time to discover you need to download the latest software or plug-in!
As everyone is saying these days, “we’re all in this together.” Do everything you can to make the best impression, but don’t sweat it if you encounter a few hiccups. If someone asks what’s your favorite book on the shelf behind you, don’t hesitate to pull it out. Did you forget to change the month on the calendar? Think of it as an opportunity to laugh, we all need it! Go with the flow and treat it as a chance for others to have a peek into your world – a setting most will find much more interesting than a sterile conference room!
For more tips and tricks, contact Herrmann’s Chief Business Development Officer, John Albert, today at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free consultation.