In the digital world, your online presence is very important. There are a number of things you can do to improve your presentation during a video conference or chat.

Preparation

  • Test your microphone and speakers and remove tape from your video camera lens; and,
  • enable audio transcription.

The Background

  • Lighting –  Set up a lamp with a bulb that approximates daylight and have the light bounce off a wall and back onto your face. In cinematic terms, that a key light that will highlight you and separate you from the background;
  • Back lighting – The camera in your laptop averages the light in a scene. If a window is behind you, the camera will use that as its metric, leaving you in shadow;
  • Backgrounds – be aware of what’s in your background and be sure it’s something you’re okay with your audience seeing. Strive to create an environment where the background is simple, reflecting your professionalism; and,
  • Virtual backgrounds: setting up a virtual background will hide your home office or can add corporate branding.

The Screen

  • Screen composition – center yourself on the screen. You don’t want to be too far or too close from the camera as proximity plays a big part in how the audience perceive you as a communicator; and,
  • Elevation – elevating your laptop camera to eye-level will better position you on the screen.

Presentation

  • Focus on your camera, not your colleagues – just as with public speaking in the real world, direct eye contact is a vital way to reinforce your point;
  • voice  – use a strong voice, as if you were speaking in a large conference room, not conversationally;
  • be present and mindful – remember that you are on camera. When someone else is speaking, don’t use that time to check your cel’ phone or attend to other work and,
  • use the mute button – stay on mute whenever you’re not speaking and unmute yourself only when you speak. Staying on mute shuts out sudden noises as well as routine background noises you may not be aware of.