The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies around the world to rethink their approach to work. Meetings were moved online and employees began working remotely as the world began to recover. Even as many teams have begun returning to their offices, remote and hybrid workforces are now officially here to stay – along with video calls. Whether you use Microsoft Teams, Skype, or Zoom, video calls are a core part of the way that companies are connecting to get work done. It’s easy to rely on the built-in webcam and mic to get the job done, but there are a few easy ways to look your best on your next video call.
Improve Your Lighting
In the world of video, lighting goes a long way in making a webcam look its best! Unlike expensive cameras that can perform well in low light situations, webcams work their best in well-lit rooms and office environments. While there are dedicated lights, like Logitech’s new Litra Glow, that might be worth investing in, getting better lighting can be as affordable as you want it to be! Even small touches like moving closer to a window, grabbing a desk lamp, or turning on a few extra lights in the room can go a long way in making a better picture for your next video call.
Upgrade Your Webcam
As we mentioned, most built-in webcams are designed with affordability in mind. Thankfully, there are plenty of new webcam options that have hit the market in recent years designed to cater more toward power users that are interested in looking their best during their virtual meetings. Longtime classics like the Logitech C920 continue to be popular, but plenty of other options like the Logitech Brio, Elgato Facecam, and Razer Kiyo Pro all bring an additional level of audio quality and higher frame rates that add some extra polish to your video feed. For those that really want to look their best, Elgato’s CamLink is an accessory that can work with many professional DSLRs and camcorders to tap right into the HDMI feed and bring a studio-quality look for their camera feeds.
Use an External Microphone
Much like built-in webcams, built-in microphones often aren’t breaking new ground in the audio world. There are plenty of options on the market for improving your microphone starting at just a few dollars. The Blue Snowball is a crowd favorite, currently listed at $39.99 on Amazon, alongside its big brother, the Blue Yeti. While these are two of the most popular options on the market, even using a dedicated pair of headphones with a microphone can deliver a higher level of quality as compared to the standard laptop microphone.
Double-Check Your Settings
No matter what hardware you’re using, checking your settings before jumping into a call is always a must! There are few situations more embarrassing than jumping into a call and having the wrong mic selected or not being able to hear others on the call. Taking a minute or two to navigate the settings menu and make sure that you’re fully ready to join a call can not only make a great impression on other callers, but also help everyone stay focused on the tasks and conversation at hand.
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