TIPS & DOWNLOADS

  • Do not put your laptop on your knees, it will wobble and make your audience feel seasick. ​​

 

  • To create “eye contact” in a virtual scenario, you need to be looking at the camera / webcam NOT at the place on your screen where the person / people you are talking to appear. If you look at the person/ people, you often end up looking down and to the right, leaving the audience / fellow meeting participants seeing nothing but the top of your head!

  • Watch what you wear:  Clothes are good! Since lockdown it has been known for people to turn up without a shirt on at a meeting! You still need to look professional, (even if you are wearing shorts or pyjamas below your desk!) Choose your clothes consciously, some colours and patterns (especially checks and stripes) don’t work well digitally and can visually oscillate and be very distracting.

 

  • Position your ring light at an angle so that it does not hit you full in the face. This will be unflattering and cause you to squint into the light. Offsetting it at an angle will provide sufficient light to illuminate you well, without blinding you and washing you out.

 

  • Make sure you get close enough to your camera/ webcam so your head fills the space and is centred. You don’t want to appear to be a tiny head and make your background more prominent that you are! It's a good idea to log into meetings early to check your positioning, lighting etc for a minute before you “go live”.

  • During a video call, you will typically lose around 50% of your message that is reliant on body language. To compensate for this there needs to be much greater vocal emphasis on key words, more modulation and variation of pace, pitch and volume. The trouble is, that to many, this feels and sounds really unnatural, and we’re embarrassed in case it sounds weird to others, so we don’t do it. Result? We sound flat and dull instead and our audiences start answering emails or playing Candy crush. It is the “toppest” of top tips; Work your voice! 

 

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TECHNOLOGY

There are a lot of different platforms out there (e.g. Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, Blue Jeans, WebEx, etc) and while many have great and similar functionality such as the ability to have different views of participants (e.g. gallery view, speaker view), change backgrounds, mute / turn up volume, do screen sharing and switch presenters, run polls and so on, they all work a bit differently and you need to proactively master the functionality of the platform you use regularly.

  • Prior to the meeting / presentation, log in at least 5 minutes before the start time to check your tech. Don’t be complacent and don’t wing it.

  • Don’t fumble and stumble through your meetings. All platforms provide lots of on demand training videos, make good use of them and invest some time to get to mastery

  • Get the basics right: with the support of this essential kit: a microphone, a light, a usb port and a greenscreen.

ONLINE MEETING ETIQUETTE 

  • Introductions are even more important digitally than face to face, to ensure people know who’s on the call with you. 

  • As in real life, face to face scenarios, nobody likes feeling ignored. When you’re not speaking and others are, don’t have your head down looking at your phone. It’s simply rude. 

  • Don’t multi- task (like checking email) during the virtual meetings/ presentations. Even if it’s not video based, your keyboard clicking can be heard and if you’re on mute for long periods it suggests you’re not fully engaged. Finally - and this is for your own benefit - if you’re multitasking, you won’t take much in.

DOWNLOADS - VIRTUAL BACKGROUNDS

Many of us don't want to share the inside of our office space - by using a combination of our green screen and a virtual background, we can retain some of our privacy / hide our mess! There a several sites that you can download backgrounds, and some can add an element of humour (be careful with suitability of  these - The back drop of HMP Slade may seem like a good light humoured idea at the time, but in an interview, it may not be as suitable!) Make sure that any images you use are free to use (no copyright restrictions)

It's also a good idea to remember how to change backgrounds in different online meetings software, just in case!

If you're a keen photographer, you can experiment with your own ideas, and we have a selection you can download and use copyright free. To download these images, click on the "Download now" button and a zip file containing the images below can be saved to your preferred location.

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