Now everyone has mastered joining and hosting their video collaboration tools of choice (Google Meet, Zoom, Anymeeting, even Webex) the next step is to up your game so your audience/team can focus on you and your content, not the periphery of your environment.
Here are some Pro Tips for a masterful videoconference presence:
Backlight is a killer. Don’t have a bright light source like a window or lamp behind you. Any kind of backlighting is going to turn you into a silhouette and mask your features, making it hard to watch you. Make sure you have good front and side lighting, even if you have to rearrange your seating position or add a desk lamp pointing at you in front of your laptop.
Only ever share an app window or browser tab, never your whole screen. Sharing a screen is asking for a confidential or possibly embarrassing email or Slack pop up while you are presenting.
Use a headset or other separate microphone. Laptop built-in microphones are OK for emergencies, but mostly pick up the sound of you typing and the background of kids shouting and dogs barking.
Rehearsal is the golden rule for any audio visual activity, from presentations to webinars. So practice and practice again, to test all the tech as well as your presentation style and environment. Have rehearsal calls with people you trust to give you meaningful feedback. If you are a Hybridge client we are happy to be your audience for testing, just give us a call and a few of us will join your meeting and help you tune everything up.
Mute when you are not actively contributing. If your mic pics up any background sound then the group camera focus will switch to you instead of whoever is talking – it is hard to hide from that one.
The best background is a relatively neutral one, with at most a few professional awards, family photos, books, or quality artwork visible. Skip the political/rock band posters, bedroom detritus, overflowing kitchen sink, or any busy/distracting motion. Virtual backgrounds can be cool, but they only work well if you have a powerful computer not doing much else and a bright and consisten background wall behind you. Otherwise you’ll have distracting video artifacts around your head, and maybe even your kid emerging through the middle of your desert island backdrop.
If you intend to multi-task choose your active screens carefully. Make your multitask screen the one with your camera above it, so it at least looks like you are paying attention to the conference, rather than another screen off to the side so everyone can tell you are obviously not paying attention.
We are all just learning to be effective in remote collaboration. Hybridge Cloud solutions are the enabler, but we must create and learn the social norms that will make this work, just like we learned how to work face to face over the past 200+ years.
If you need better/more secure video conference and collaboration solutions for you team please email us at info at Hybridge.com and we’ll be glad to help.