You have an important conference call scheduled, but instead of seeing you, the participants only see a vague figure on their screen. Or you haven’t tidied up the house yet and your video call background is super messy. This definitely doesn’t look professional. It already can be harder to communicate during online video conferences than in real life in the office. But especially when other participants can’t see who they’re talking to or when they’re distracted by your background. This way, you’re not fully engaged in the meeting. By paying some attention to your lighting and background during a video conferencing, this can be avoided, luckily. This article contains a few simple tips for a professional setup!
Position the lighting in front of you
As you’re setting up everything for a video conference, consider the position of your lighting. To get the best lighting setup for your professional video conferencing, you should use lighting from the front and avoid lighting from the back. This will highlight your face, while eliminating shadows. With a little practice, you should be able to get a decent lighting setup and achieve conferencing calls with professional video quality.
It is best to sit somewhere facing a window during the day, as this will get you plenty of natural light without having to turn on other lights. If this is not an option in your case or your conferencing call is later during the day, then you need to place your lights in the right position. Try not to use overhead lighting, but position the lighting behind the camera. This will minimize glare and flicker. You can also use multiple sources of light and position them on the left and right behind the camera. This way both sides of your face are shaped and there will be some dimension.
What kind of lighting to use
As mentioned above, the easiest lighting for video conferencing is natural lighting. However, this is not always possible. When it comes to lighting, there are many factors that matter. If you’re using different sources of light, you want to get a consistent color temperature. This can be achieved by replacing the bulbs in the existing lamps. You can even buy adjustable smart bulbs, so you can easily change the color temperature.
It’s best to aim for soft, diffused lighting in the room. This can be created by using lampshades or by facing the light to the wall, so it bounces off the wall. Another challenge can be the brightness of your lighting. You don’t want your light to be too bright. When using natural lighting, you can close the curtains or blinds a little. There are also some smart bulbs that allow you to adjust the amount of light given off. Find a brightness that doesn’t cause overexposure.
Pick a clean background
You don’t want others to be distracted by your background during a video call. Most important is to have a clean background. Don’t have too much going on in your background. Just have a few small essentials behind you, like a plant or another light. But make sure to not let the light face the camera! Also, make sure there are no reflective objects behind you, like a mirror.
For the wall itself, it is best to sit in front of a white or light-colored wall. Lighting will reflect on these types of walls and this will brighten up your space. Lastly, invest in a backdrop if your budget allows!
It frequently happens that people don’t know what to do with the lighting and background in the room. After reading this article, this doesn’t apply to you anymore! By positioning the lights in the right places and keeping a clean background, you keep the attention on you and what you’re saying during any important presentation or video call with your colleagues.