other Zoom resources …
Content is important … of course.
But, how you look and sound in online meetings (especially when presenting) can make a huge difference.
It will affect how people listen to you; maintaining their interest and attention; and how much they take in.
At one end of the spectrum: a clear, well-lit face looking directly at you, with a clear voice that’s easy to hear.
At the other end: half a shadowed face, appearing to be looking down at their notes, with a tinny voice that’s hard to hear and sounding like they’re in a large hall.
How you look in Zoom meetings
Top Tip: open Zoom on your device and start your own private meeting to see how you look and check your appearance and lighting.
Some laptops don’t have great cameras. An external webcam can make a huge difference. I use a Logitech C920 HD Pro webcam (for between £60 and £90).
And of course, nowadays, some phones have really good cameras.
In general you’re trying to get it so that people can see your face and your eyes. They will feel more connected with you and interested in what you are saying.
Unfortunately there’s not much you can easily do to avoid the glare/reflection from glasses.
- Adjust the brightness setting within Zoom – click the little up arrow next to “Stop Video” / choose “Video Settings” / you can now “Adjust for low light” (see picture and this short video clip within a longer video)
- Avoid bright lights behind you.
- If you have bright sunlight coming in (creating strong light/dark contrast), it may be better to draw the curtains and use artificial lights.
And if your meeting is happening towards the end of the day – remember that the outside light will fade!
- If possible, position your device so that the camera is at eye level. For example, with an external keyboard and mouse (very cheap!) you can then pop your laptop on some books. This can also improve your posture and help your back and neck!
- Have your head near the centre of your image – and not too small (move the device/camera closer to you)
Your internet connection
Ideally use a “wired” connection (using ethernet cable between your router and computer) rather than wireless. Click here for more ideas to improve your connection.
Making eye contact
This can make a huge difference – click here for some tips
We’ve all become used to seeing people in their homes. So don’t avoid a more informal/personal background. However, (on many, but not all, devices) you can also …
- blur your background
- add a virtual background (and you can use any picture you want from internet or of your own)
Both of these will depend on your device and also that you have Virtual Background enabled in your Zoom settings on the web for your account. It is in the “In Meeting (Advanced)” section.
How you sound in Zoom meetings
Top Tip: record yourself in your own private zoom meeting and play it back to hear how others will be hearing you.
External webcams often have good microphones (see above in “Your Camera”).
Try using a headset microphone.
- microphone too far away
- brushing against your microphone (especially if its an external one with clothes or on your cheek)
- headset microphone positioned right in front of your mouth/nose – so everyone hears your breathing and sniffing 🙁
- rustling your paper notes