#StayHome: Five things to check before joining a video call
Published on April 18, 2020 at 00.01
Virtual is the new reality, at least temporary for now, as millions around the world are staying home in countries under Covid-19 lockdown. From virtual weddings, to work meetings and online schooling, everything revolves around computer screens putting all on camera most of the day! (Photo: Alamy)
According to reports in The Verge, optimising video chat setup like from knowing where to sit to get the best light, to choosing the right microphone, to just staying comfortable, will come handy in your next video call. Here are tips to make it work and look your best, even hunched over a laptop.
Light your face
>> Keep the room bright by opening shades. But be mindful all the light is not in the background as it will make you appear dark. It is recommend having largest light source either right in front of you or no more than 45 degrees away from directly in front of you.
>> Most importantly, computer screen is also a large source of light, so adjust screen brightness, especially if you are taking a call without natural light.
Raise your camera
Place your camera angle 'head-on and at eye level. Mostly all tables are going to be lower than your face so use a set of books, a stool, or a higher table to make sure your camera is at the same level as your eyes.
Test your video before the call
Both Zoom and WebEx have an option for showing you a preview of your video before the call starts. If you select this option, a video preview will pop up before you enter a call to check how everything looks. Skype will show you this preview by default, but when using other videoconferencing apps, such as Houseparty, it is a good choice to open Photobooth to check video before entering a call.
Find a quiet place
Call quality is better in a quiet place. This can be achieved with a set of headphones as well. Most videoconferencing apps have a tool in their settings for testing your mic. While as a courtesy to others, please keep your mic muted unless you are talking. (Photo: Alamy)