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How To Have Better Quality Meetings

I think we can all agree, we're so over being a part of long tedious Zoom meetings. And what's more, can you believe some people still need to be reminded to unmute themselves?! From our experience of working from home and remote work, we know we all want better quality meetings. These may note reduce the length of the meeting but we promise they will at least improve the quality. Here are three things you can do immediately to improve the quality of your video conference calls.

1. Gear

It's not all about the gear, but saying that investing in the following THREE accessories will improve the quality of your video conference. Whether you're using Zoom, Google Meet, Skype or any other platform follow these tips and start having better meetings.

We always recommend using a better quality external webcam than the one built-in to your computer. We've been using the one below for all of our team meetings. The larger lens, focussing and wide aperture helps produce a clearer (less noisy) image.

An external USB microphone like the one we recommend will include features that create a better balanced capture of your voice and will be less likely to pick up background noise.

Good lighting is essential as it helps improve what the camera is able to see and is therefore the one big thing that can lift the overall quality of your picture. 

To that end, here is the short list of three items that won't cost you the earth but will make you look and sound fantastic!

 ImageProductLink
Webcam
Logitech Webcamhttps://amzn.to/3CxTU0F
Mic
Rode NThttps://amzn.to/3u777KV
Lights
Neewee USB Lightshttps://amzn.to/3ExFEGT

2. Settings

If you're using Zoom, you're going to want to update your video settings to HD. The default settings reduce the image quality. Providing you have decent Internet speed (approx. 6Mbps +) then you'll be fine updating to HD. Here's how... in Zoom, go to Preferences/Settings>Video

If you're hosting an important call, the other thing you might want to consider is connecting your computer directly to your Router via Ethernet. This might help avoid those occasions when your WIFI router decides is overwhelmed with traffic, especially when your kids start watching Netflix in the other room.

3. Etiquette

Follow this simple guide... Recommendations for framing, background and lighting; the following are examples to provide you with context for the ideal online experience.

Guidelines:

  • Position yourself in front of a plain light coloured background or an interesting, tidy background e.g. a bookshelf
  • Ensure your device is at eye level and your image centred in the middle of the screen. 
    • TIP: You can prop your computer up on books.
  • Test the sound & lighting in advance. Ensure you have space with good, even lighting in front of you lighting your face. 
    • TIP: Buy a couple of lights to help improve the lighting. See recommendations above.
  • If you’re using a smartphone, shoot horizontally and put the phone on a stand to keep the image steady.
  • Consider wearing wireless headphones e.g. Apple Earbuds to help improve the audio quality. This is a must if recording using a smartphone. Make sure you are in a room where you will not be disturbed and there are no distracting background sounds.
  • Know what you’re going to say.
  • Practice.

We created a whole series of fun videos that give helpful Online Tips on what (not) to do when participating on online meetings.

If you're wanting to record yourself speaking to camera you can use Zoom even without making a call (turn-off self view (Zoom settings) to avoid looking at your image) or  for a better quality recording, use Quicktime Player (Mac) or www.cam-recorder.com/ (PC) to record a video directly on your computer. During the recording, look directly into the camera.