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Presenting yourself on a video conference: The basics

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Working remotely is becoming increasingly normal. It’s not even limited to conferences and collaboration, all aspects of a business are not happening remotely. While it might be the need of the hour in this dire but temporary global situation, the benefits of working from anywhere for individuals and businesses are tough to ignore.

In fact, these benefits are so significant that brands like Twitter and Shopify have decided to let their employees work from home for ‘as long as they want’. While the business you own or work for may not be ready to make the same commitment, the best video conferencing software offers enough features to be applicable to almost all business functions.

As a result of this, chances are that making appearances on video conferences is becoming an increasingly important demand of your job. If that is the case, like all other office meetings, it is important to appear and conduct yourself professionally when you step in front of the camera.

Invest in a good pair of microphone earphones

The importance of earphones is not so much for the sound coming out of your computer as it is for your own voice. The microphone placed in your laptop or phone or tablet is designed to pick up sounds from its vicinity. That means, it will pick up your voice, it will pick up the voice from the fan, it may even pick up the sounds coming from the next room!

On the other hand, mics on earphones are designed to pick up sounds from a much smaller radius. Using these, you can rest assured that the voice quality is always consistent.

Choose a neutral background

Unless you are presenting something, it is wise to choose a neutral background that puts the focus on you. Many video conferencing software also offer the ability to add virtual backgrounds. While some of these are handy, many might not be appropriate in certain situations, so choose wisely.

If you don’t have space to dedicate to the video conference and can’t find an acceptable background, many apps also offer a feature that can blur the background.  Keep in mind that access to such features may be limited to cases where you get to choose the platform or software being used for the video conference. 

Find a well-lit location

If others cannot see you, it beats the whole purpose of a video conference. For this reason, it is important to choose a location that has plenty of light, preferably natural light. Even if you are using artificial lighting, make sure the light is placed in front of you and behind the screen. Light coming from behind you will make your face appear dark.

It is also important to pay attention to proper lighting if you are presenting something. Make sure your presentation is clearly visible. While doing this, don’t forget to think about the participants that may be joining the video conference using mobile devices with smaller screens than laptops and desktops.

Spend time becoming familiar with the platform

Most video conferencing platforms are available for a free trial. In fact, many don’t even charge for personal use. Utilise this to your advantage by getting familiar with the video conferencing tool before the actual call. This will not only enable you to avoid technical problems during the call, but will also enable you to efficiently make use of the various features of the video conferencing tool to appear professional and in case you are presenting something, do that with efficiency.

Conclusion

Video conferencing is a part and parcel of working in the modern corporate environment. Are there any challenges you face when presenting yourself at a video conference? Tell us about them in the comment section below.

About Catherine Plano

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