Movie Star from the Home Office

by Apr 25, 2020

Why video conferences have a future and how you can optimize your presence:

Yes, video conferences can be annoying, there can be static in the lines, you can hear and see yourself and it seems worse than "Iive". Many emotions and facial expressions from participants that you can experience in direct exchange remain hidden, but soon we can hopefully meet again at events, just as usual.

That can be, but it doesn't have to be.
The technology of conference calls is improving, some events may no longer need the very large framework, it is more cost-effective for the organizer and the participants, because there are no travel to and from the conference, as well as additional costs such as catering and accommodation. And it's also time-saving. A promising model, especially in the international context during and after the Corona crisis.

By then, the beginners' mistakes are over, such as Friedrich Merz (CDU), who was placed somewhat unhappily in front of a magnum bottle of champagne at a conference, or Robert Habeck, (Die Grünen), who during a video conference was disturbed by one of his children, which briefly lead his mind astray

We have all long since become stars of video conferencing. or not?

If you want to optimize your presence for the future, we have put together the most important tips for you here.

1. Make sure you have the right technology.
Have you downloaded the correct video software / app and familiarized yourself with the setup?
Here are some things to watch out for: If you have an external camera and / or microphone, make sure they are set up and working. You can use headphones during the interview to enhance your audio as the microphone is of higher quality than a standard computer microphone and is closer to your mouth to better pick up your sound. However, do not use large over-ear headphones as they will not look appealing in the picture. Earphones are recommended. If they are corded, use one side with the microphone and hide the cord as best you can.

2. Find a suitable location in your apartment, house / home office / office for the video conference.
This should be a room whose door can be closed to prevent unwanted interruptions. It should also be as close as possible to your WiFi router to make sure you have a strong internet connection.

3. Set up your video studio.
You should pay attention to:
Light source - you want to avoid the light coming from behind. If you need to position yourself in front of a window, close the blinds. Find a lamp in your home that you can position so that some light falls on your face. If you now take part in a video conference more often, an LED ring light set with a tripod is worthwhile.
Background - You don't want a cluttered area in the background, but you also don't want a bland image. A bookshelf is a nice backdrop, but you should double-check the titles that are visible beforehand. If you don't have a bookcase, you can use a small table or dresser to arrange memorabilia like flowers and vases or other decoration. If you use products or props for your video conference from your company, they should be placed somewhere in the video frame. Set up a comfortable chair - you should sit down during the conference to avoid random movements that could distract you. If possible, avoid a swivel chair.
Camera / computer position - Depending on how you sit, you might want to orient your computer or camera so that it is raised. The camera should be at eye level to get the best picture. Elevate your computer with a laptop stand or a stack of books. For optimal framing, you should position the camera about an arms length away from you.

4. Do a test run.
Using the appropriate video software, with any external devices set up, try a test call with a friend or colleague to make sure your video and audio are working well and you are happy with your setup

5. Avoid noise interruptions.
Put your phone in Airplane mode or move it to another room.  If you are not alone in your home office, you should hang a "Do not disturb" sign on your door. If necessary, do the same for your front door. Notify family members of your video conference and ask them to stay quiet or move to another part of the house. Move pets to a different room for the duration of the video.

6. Dress accordingly
Avoid bright patterns or colors that blend into your background. Don't wear bright white or green as these colors won't work well on the screen. Avoid small squares or stripes as they could flicker on the screen.

7. Check your posture
While seated, make sure that you are sitting in your chair with your back straight, but don't look straight into the camera, little trick from influencers! Something to the side is more flattering. Try to stay calm, keep your feet on the floor and watch your hands. Some people are very expressive with their hands when speaking. This can be very distracting during a video interview. Try to keep your hands in your lap. Have a glass of water ready in case you need it during the call.

8. Speak slowly and clearly.
Speak more slowly than normal, it may sound strange to you, but it will help you reduce the number of "um's" and allow viewers to better follow your speech.

9. Maintain eye contact with the camera It may seem strange at first when answering questions or when you are speaking, but you look best when you look straight at the camera while you speak.

10. Thank all participants and say goodbye.
Don't just disappear from the picture and don't shut down the conference silently.

11. Link your participation in the video conference.
Of course, this makes more sense if you are moderating the conference or have participated actively with one or more speeches.

Then ask if the video conference is available on YouTube and if they can post the link on your social media profiles, email newsletter and / or blog on your website.

A star is born! We wish you the best!