How to look good on video call

Are you more and more often making video calls with friends and family and receiving complaints about the quality of your broadcast? Do you have an important job video call and would like some advice on how to look your best during the conversation? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, know that you are in the right place.

In the next paragraphs of this article, in fact, I will be able to provide you with various kinds of advice on how to look good on a video call . Some of the advice I will give you will be of a purely technical nature, while others will be more practical: if all of them are put into practice, I assure you that they can make a difference.

What do you say? I bet you can’t wait to find out what you can do to actually improve the quality of your video calls. Courage therefore: let’s put aside the chatter immediately and let’s get busy. Follow the advice I am about to give you step by step and you will see that your video calls will take on a much more professional and refined tone. Enjoy the reading!

Index

  • Get the right equipment
  • Check your internet connection
  • Clean the used camera lens
  • Use a smartphone or SLR holder
  • Pay attention to the light
  • Pay attention to the audio
  • Pay attention to the background
  • Take care of your appearance
  • Update the videocalling applications used

Get the right equipment

Having the right equipment is the starting point for having a good performance during video calls. On the other hand, taking care of one’s appearance and the “set” from which to carry out the videocall and then appear grainy, jerky and with incomprehensible audio would make little sense.

What you need is a mobile phone with a good camera or, if you prefer video calling from a PC, a high quality webcam or, better yet, a DSLR to connect to your computer.

 

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If you decide to use a Reflex, to connect it to your computer you will need to use software provided directly by the manufacturer and / or an acquisition card , depending on the model you decide to purchase.

 

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As for the audio part , however, I advise you to have a good microphone to connect to the PC. The microphones included in smartphones are generally good, if you are using an upper-middle-range device.

 

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All this equipment can be purchased in electronics stores or online stores, such as Amazon . Clearly, however, it is not enough on its own to optimize the call yield.

It is also necessary to take care of the environment in which you are located : from the lighting (if you do not want to buy light suitable for the purpose, at least make sure you are not “burned” by the sun or in the darkness of the night!), To the audio (avoid rooms overlooking particularly noisy or echoing streets).

In short, wisely combine the technical side with the practical one – also following the rest of the indications I am about to give you – and you will see that you will make an excellent impression with your interlocutors!

Check your internet connection

Since video calls are feasible thanks to the Internet, checking your connection is a must before starting one. To do this, you can use one of the many online tools that allow you to perform a speed test .

To have a good performance during a video call it is necessary to have a line that is stable and possibly able to offer an upload speed of at least 2 Mbps . Otherwise, the faster the better!

If the connection is not of good quality, your video will jerk and your interlocutor will hardly understand what you say. If your data connection is not very fast, you can connect to your home or office Wi-Fi (if this is available and if the fixed connection is better than the mobile one).

For maximum signal stability, I recommend using a wired connection (via Ethernet cable ) instead of the Wi-Fi one. On a PC you shouldn’t have big problems doing this, but even on smartphones and tablets it is actually possible to use the cable connection: just buy a special Ethernet adapter . When buying one, pay attention to the input port of your device (eg USB-C , microUSB or Lightning ).

 

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Of course, there are also Ethernet adapters for PCs without network ports.

 

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Clean the used camera lens

Now let’s move on to the slightly more practical side of the matter. A preliminary operation that I recommend you do before each video call is to clean the lens of the camera used , be it that of the mobile phone, a webcam or the lens of a DSLR. It may seem trivial to you, but I guarantee you that if you don’t pay attention to this detail, it won’t help to cure the rest.

What do you need to clean the camera lens? Basically a microfiber cloth (can also go a leather chamois cloth or one in suede leather ) and, if necessary, a few drops of water to moisten the latter.

 

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Obviously, I urge you not to use abrasive cloths , paper towels or compressed air products , because they could irreparably damage the lens (they could make it opacify, create halos, etc.). Then don’t tell me I didn’t warn you!

Once you have obtained the necessary to perform the cleaning operations, gently wipe the cloth over the lens, making slow circular movements . Then repeat the operation until you get the desired result. If there is a lot of dirt on the camera, you may find it helpful to moisten the cloth a little with 2-3 drops of water before proceeding.

If you want to get a better idea of how to clean the camera , I refer you to reading the guide I dedicated to the subject: even if you will find specific advice regarding the operations to be carried out on the mobile phone camera, the information presented is valid in principle. for any lens.

Use a smartphone or SLR holder

Do you use a smartphone or a DSLR for your video calls? In this case, I highly recommend using a smartphone or Reflex holder , so as to hold it steady and position it as it should to get a decent shot.

These supports are relatively inexpensive and are easily available in electronics stores, as well as in online stores, primarily Amazon .

 

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If you really don’t feel like investing a few euros in buying one of these products, you can try to make it yourself, using some materials you have at home, perhaps helping you with the instructions in my tutorial on how to create a phone stand .

Once you have placed your smartphone or your SLR on the tripod, make sure that the camera is pointed correctly towards you, so that you have a good shot. Generally speaking, it should be a little higher than your head . Therefore, avoid placing the camera too low in relation to your face, which would force you to tilt it towards the ceiling and make your face appear very bulky, with a decidedly pronounced double chin.

These last tips also apply if you decide to use a laptop or, in any case, a PC with a webcam. Make sure this is positioned a little higher than your head (perhaps, to do this, you could place the laptop on a pile of books).

Pay attention to the light

A fundamental point to have a good video call performance is to pay attention to the light and, in particular, to the following critical situations, which you must absolutely avoid.

  • Underexposed video– if the environment you are in is excessively dark, the video will be “muddy” and very “noisy”. What’s more, your face may be illuminated solely by the light emanating from your device’s screen, giving you an almost spooky air. To avoid this kind of problems, position yourself in front of a light source, possibly that emits a diffused light (to avoid too sharp shadows on your face): the ideal would be a window , a lamp , a spotlight or a soft-box .

 

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  • Overexposed video– you don’t have to go from one extreme to the other, so you don’t just have to avoid low light conditions, but also conditions with too much light. If the brightness is too high, your face will probably be “burned” and your interlocutor will have a hard time distinguishing the features of your face. If you are in an excessively bright room or if you are outdoors, close the blinds a little or find a place where there is some shade and the difference will be noticed.
  • Backlit video– if there is a light source behind you (even a relatively small one), your face will be backlit and, therefore, will be black. Always remember that you must never have a light source behind you or the risk of running into the backlight is practically certain.

Pay attention to the audio

In addition to the video quality, the audio part of the video call must also be adequately treated : otherwise, those on the other side of the phone will have a hard time listening and understanding what you say.

To do this, it is not enough to have the right equipment, as I have already urged you to do in the initial chapter of the tutorial , but some other practical precautions must be implemented. To go into more detail, I advise you not to make the video call in the rooms menu where there is a very pronounced echo (which happens especially in empty rooms).

Another piece of advice I give you is to position yourself at the right distance from the microphone : if you stay too far from it your voice will be very weak; if you are very close, however, your voice may be annoying and unpleasant.

Pay attention to the background

Paying attention to the background may seem a seemingly negligible detail: in reality, it can greatly enhance one’s appearance and features and, above all, avoids distracting one’s interlocutor.

In general, the ideal would be to have a neutral background , such as a solid color wall , characterized by a soft color (eg white, blue, gray, etc.). In assigning the latter, identify a corner of the house that is interesting and tidy (eg the study where you keep your bookcase, a corner of the living room, etc.).

Take care of your appearance

Another very important practical trick is to take care of your appearance , especially when making a business video call with your boss, a colleague, a customer, etc.

Taking care of your appearance will not only positively impact your video performance, but will help make you feel good psychologically. If you feel comfortable, you will be relaxed and anything but tense or nervous, which will positively reflect on your video performance.

Update the videocalling applications used

If you have come to this guide to know how to get a good video call on WhatsApp , Telegram , Skype , Zoom , or any other messaging / videocalling app, you must also worry about updating the videocalling apps you usually use.

In fact, it often happens that the developers of the latter release updates that fix bugs that could compromise the quality of video calls. If you do not know how to update apps on Android , how to update apps on iPhone and how to update programs on PC , I refer you to reading the in-depth information in which I explain in detail how to do it.

 

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