New insights about video calls and presentations during the COVID-19 pandemic
Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are knee-deep into Zoom and remote video meetings as if we were born for it. But there is still a lot to improve in the way we perform in them. Examples of video call malfunctions we can see daily in our calls with people whose faces are cut off, or people who simply prefer to show the ceiling above them instead, as well as auditory issues, such as unclear sound, etc.
Consequently, we’ve gathered some insights here, in addition to the recommendations presented in our previous article “The Guide: How to Look Good in Video Calls“.
We hope these will help you upgrade your appearance and message delivery effectiveness – in video calls and presentations – with clients, investors, colleagues, and anyone you talk to online.
Tips and insights
- People have a hard time staying focused for a long time in front of a person talking to them from a small rectangle in the screen corner. What to do?
- Advice your audience to enlarge the part where you are seen so that you appear in an equal manner dividing the screen into two halves – you and the presentation.
- Take methodical breaks for questions, sessions, and videos. Offer a break to browse social media/bring a glass of water, etc.
2. Adapt the presentations to the small screens of desktop and smartphoneWhen you display your presentations with the ‘screen sharing’ function, the resolution is lower, and thin or small fonts become unreadable. Enlarge font size and refrain from using a light font style. It will help if you experiment to see what the PPT looks like on the viewer’s side with another computer or a colleague.
3. Improve your performance. Performing in front of a camera stresses many people and makes it difficult for them to maintain a lecture sequence. Practice with family and friends and gather up some confidence for the lecture. You may want to consider preparing a script in advance and memorizing it to maintain continuity.
4. Talking to black squares sucks. Ask your audience to open their cameras and explain to them that it helps you communicate with them better.
5. Get friendly with the rest of the call participants. Incorporate some small-talk at the beginning of the lecture or conversation to produce chemistry and interest. It will also help relieve the tension on your part. Take an interest in your audience: what they do, or what their expectations are from the lecture. Refer to this information later on.
6. Want to demonstrate an app or craft making? – Try using an additional camera or app user. Zoom, for instance, has the option to combine two cameras (computer and phone)
7. Bad audio ruins all communication. People who move, get closer and away from their computer microphone, low-quality microphones, and more – these are common phenomena that make it difficult to follow the speaker and understand what is said. What to do? Do yourself a favor and purchase an external microphone to connect to the camera or computer you use. The quality of the call will increase by thousands of counters.
8. Backgrounds – So, at first, we got excited and raved about the virtual backgrounds. Now, their goal should be to serve our brand on video calls or convey a message pertaining to the call or to us. This means that it’s the end for the beach backgrounds, and it’s time to replace them with office backgrounds, a combination of your logo, a background of a well-designed home, etc. Think about how the background can serve you, maybe even be a means of breaking the ice at the beginning of the conversation. An exciting option for branding your virtual background will be Virtual Office, where you can upload your logo and get a branded office-like background and other cool stuff for your meetings and presentations.
9. Technologies and control over the video app. Watch out for updates and upgrades, as the video apps keep on getting better!