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How to improve your video calls

Hello internet friends. Welcome back. Where's my coffee? (slurping coffee) Shall we? Today's lesson might seem simple, but I have video called withenough friends this week, to realize that y'all coulduse some serious help. (intense techno music) Looking just a littlebit more professional, and definitely more presentable on video calls. (intense techno music) Like a lot of people, I use Zoom, and that's mostly because trying to figure out my Skype password that I made when I was 18 has been like. (contemplative music) But with the uptick in Zoom users, has come an uptick in privacy concerns. User information hasreportedly been leaked to third parties, and IDnumbers are easy to guess, which is leading to Zoombombing, which is now a legitimate term. And privacy advocateseven see some concerns with how Zoom evades macOSadministration controls to install itself on your computer. So even though I'm supercomfortable with Zoom, I've also found some alternatives, like Houseparty, Webex, and even creating a new account for Skype. We have a video up right now about all of Zoom's privacy concerns, that if you're interestedin learning more about this, you can check out. Now before you can be on a call, you gotta set up call. And there are great slack apps for Skype, Webex, and Zoom that allow you to quickly create videocall invites within chats, and if you use Google Calendar, and you want to install theZoom for GSuite extension, that'll allow you to selectZoom as a video option when creating calendar invites.


 Now that you've set up the call, let's talk about lookingpresentable on camera. Now there are some of youthat are probably like, "Hmm, Becca how are youqualified for this?" And to that I raise exhibit A, B, and C. These are three screenshotsof me in meetings in three separate locations, looking pretty good if I do say so myself. I mean, number one, love the look. But number two, I could usethose as profile photos. First and foremost, my favoritething in the whole world, Get that good light. Open your shades and let allthat natural light pour in. But don't do it dirty bysitting with your back to it. I recommend having yourlargest light source either right in front of you, or no more than 45 degreesfrom directly in front of you. Also be aware that your computer screen might be the largest source of light, so adjust that too. You don't wanna be blowingyourself out lookin' like a little ghostie up in here. Come on. All right, now that you lighting, you gotta get your cameraat the right angle. And there's only one option, eye level. I'm saying, use a book, use a stool, use literally whatever you have to use, but get the camera at your eye level. Angles, baby! All right, I know we're having fun, but, it's time to get serious. You can check yourself out, but do it before the call starts.


 Not at the beginning, the middle, and the end, or just,throughout the whole thing. You know, and I know, and we all know, that you look the best on this video call. But we also all know thatyou're staring at yourself. It's not only distracting to you, but it's distractingto everybody else, too. You wanna show up the themeeting already looking good. For me, that means opening up photo booth, before the call even starts, and making sure my background is like, clear of dirty clothes, the angle is good, and well, I look like thedamn champion that I am. There's also the optionof using a background to completely block your surroundings. And y'all are getting, like,real creative with these, but here are my favorites. Yooo. So good. (laughs) In the settings of mostvideo conferencing apps, you also have the option tohave your video and audio off by default when you join a call. Since I know I'm showing up with, ah, incredible video if I do say so myself. I leave my video turned on, but I am sure to have myaudio defaulted to be off when I join a meeting, and you should too,but, more on that later. Also in the settings ofWebex, Zoom, and Skype, you have the option tohave a video preview of your video pop upbefore you join a meeting, so that you can do one finalcheck to make sure you look incredible. Now when I'm on a Zoom call, I've gotten into the habit of just, hiding my video entirely, so there's no temptation whatsoever. Give it a try guys, it's actually, Freeing. Now the flip side of that, is that it's very easy toforget you are on camera.


 Don't pick your nose. Or maybe do, I don't know. Up to you. (laughs) Oh, and of course, let'stalk audio really quick. Most of us don't have aton of control over this, but, being in a quiet place typically makes for better audio. (scratching and grinding)What is the vibe? Also keep in mind that your headphones might have a bettermic than your computer. I have Bose 700 headphones, Galaxy Buds, the onesthat came out in 2019, not the plus version, and of course, the micthat's already built in to my MacBook Pro. So I use the audiotesting tool within Zoom to test all of these mics. Okay, and these are the Bose 700s. How do these sound? And the Galaxy Buds fromlast year, not the pros, how are they? And this is the MacBookPro's built-in internal mic. I'm a little shook right now. I truly expected the GalaxyBuds to flunk this test, but they're actually,not as bad as I thought. And the other two micswork great as well, so, I'm in good shape, man. All right friends, stay professional, even when you absolutely have not gotten out ofyour sweatpants for like, two weeks. Aye! Thank you so much for watching, I truly appreciate you, and since you made it this far, I have a bonus tip for you. If you're using Zoom, and you're muted, you can hold down the spacebar to temporarily unmute yourself, and it makes you feel likeyou're using a walkie-talkie, or an intercom system,and I friggin' love it. Anywho, be well, and hopefully I'll seeyou in the next one. 

1 comment:

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