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[HOW] Top 5 Ways to Look and Sound Good on a Video Call

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

It can take some time to get used to seeing yourself on video and getting comfortable "being on TV". If you've found yourself suddenly required to join online meetings, teach online, learn in a remote classroom, or interviewing online, these 5 tips will help feel more comfortable.

1. Use a riser.

Much like you hold your phone above you to get the best angle for your selfie, give your laptop some height with a riser (or a stack of books) or raise your monitor until your camera is high enough that you’re not looking down at it. This will avoid the dreaded double chin effect!

2. Face a window.

You do not want to be backlit. Facing a window will give you access to natural light which always looks better than that yellow lamp that’s behind you. I dragged my home office desk out of a corner and right up to the window. It looks so much better. If you don’t have a window, play around as best you can to get the best light in front you.

3. Test your mic and speakers before joining.

It feels weird at first: “Is this thing on?” But trust me it’s worth it! In a Zoom call, you will be prompted to test your audio before you join. If you see the green “levels” change when you speak, it’s good to go.

4. Look at the camera, not the screen.

This takes some practice to remember to look at the camera when you’re speaking. If you look at the screen, it looks to the viewer as if you’re looking down. They see what the camera sees!

5. Avoid headphones when possible.

Ever interact with someone in person who has earbuds in? It creates a visual block.

Avoiding headphones removes this barrier and allows for a greater sense of connection. I use a MacBook Pro and sound/hear just fine without an external mic or earphones. If you cannot hear with headphones (say, you're in a noisy environment, then by all means use them). But in general, they're not needed.

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