Clean your webcam lens!

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It seems like remote meetings are here to stay. Read up on how to get the most out of your remote set up.

Occasionally, virtual meetings end up being even more effective than face-to-face meetings. Virtual conferences and user-generated content are becoming more widely used than ever before. What does this mean? We are spending more and more time behind our cameras. So how do you make sure you look picture-perfect for your video call? We pulled together a few of our best tips on how to face your online appearances.

A sketch to show the eight quick wins you can apply to your remote set up.

1. Clean your lens.

Firstly, and most importantly, clean your camera lens before your call with some rubbing alcohol. Clean your keyboard as well so you aren’t transferring grease back and forth. If you notice someone else on the other side with a greasy camera, mention it. I makes a big difference.


2. Diagonal natural light.

Rotate your table to be sitting diagonally in front of a window. Avoid front-facing-light or back-light at all costs. The diagonal light will make you look beter. Photographers have known this for ages as diagonal lighting is the most common in portrait photography. In general other tips on lighting include don’t sit in front of a window and make sure there is enough light in the room that you are not under-lit.

3. Clean up your clutter.

Your house is probably already spick-and-span, but just in case your kids have been toilet-papering your home office, take a minute to clear the space around you. This creates a calmer image. Next step is to clear up the clutter you just hid from the camera’s view.


4. Dress to the occasion

Don’t feel like you need to get too dressed up, but we recommend you skip the hoodies and pyjamas for business meetings. For met most of the time a full suit will just be strange for remote calls unless you are in a hybrid meeting and at the office. When taking calls at home wear pants at all times.

5. Avoid wearing headphones.

You’re not an air traffic controller and probably don’t want to look like one, so skip the big headphones and opt for a more subtle listening device. Take some time to experiment with different microphones if you are using the laptop or earbuds the audio is different for each device and can greatly change the audio quality. Call a friend or a colleague and run the test to see which microphone sounds the best. Another pro tip is to sit in a room that is acoustically appealing and dampens echos.


6. Take distance from the wall.

Create space between you and the walls around you to give your audience some room to breathe. This will give you and your counterpart that little bit of extra space, making the call that much more enjoyable. I would recommend a least 1.5 meters distance between the back of your chair and the wall. Anything else will feel cramped.

7. Personal decoration.

Show your audience who you are. Hang up some artwork, a picture or two and add a plant in the background. We’ve found that a guitar, plants, a nice bookshelf or a painting work well to introduce small details that reveal yourself in a unique way. Feel free to mix stuff up in your background now and again or move to different locations following these same guidelines. Some meeting can take place in the kitchen with your children drawings in the background.


8. Camera level=Eye level

Elevate your camera to eye level. Nobody wants to be staring at your chin while talking to you. We continue to see poorly positioned cameras. If you are taking a call remotely but put your laptop up on a few books. If you can move your camera back a bit to show your hands, even better. This creates a more intimate personal frame where you’re entire upper body is visible. Your audience can see what you are doing with your hands so it feels more like a real face to face meeting.

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Strategic Visual Designer

Tristan Ozero

Tristan Ozero is one of the founding partners at Ink Strategy and has been working in changing environments for more than a decade. His passion is applying human-centered design thinking to help organizations innovate and do things differently from the start.

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