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The do’s and don’ts of video calls.

Nowadays we are fortunate enough to connect to one another from anywhere at anytime using video conferencing technology. But with this new way of communicating comes an entirely new set of skills and etiquette. I’m sure most of you have been on a call where you can’t hear someone or their lighting it so bad they might as well be in a cave or maybe even someone is eating and all you hear is chomping over the microphone!

Here at Talkabook we know a thing or two about video calls and we want to share our do’s and don’ts to help you have the most successful experience possible.

How to setup your camera

  • The camera on your computer monitor should be at eye-level or slightly higher. If you need help propping it up, find a stack of books!
  • Make sure you don’t sit too close to the camera (or too far away either!). Sitting within one to two feet is ideal.
  • Whether you are speaking or actively listening, look into the camera lens and not at your screen. Pro-tip, put a smiley face sticker next to the camera lens to remind you where to look and, oh yeah, to smile!
  • Once you’ve arranged the camera to your liking, minimize the window showing your camera view - we all love a good selfie but it may be distracting.
  • If you are calling in from a mobile device, make sure to follow the same tips as above!

Get your space camera-ready

  • Avoid sitting against a solid blank wall if possible. A dynamic background is more interesting, but make sure it’s tidy!
  • Eliminate distracting or inappropriate items from behind you and turn off all televisions and music nearby.
  • Shut your door and hang a “meeting in progress” sign to keep people from interrupting.
  • If you need to step out of the room or make a phone call, remember to mute your microphone and shut off your camera.

Lighting is key

  • Find a light source that will illuminate your face. Daylight through a window works best but a lamp in front of you is fine too.
  • Do not sit with your back directly against a window. Your camera will adjust to the window light and everything else will look super dark.
  • A bright room is the best room! Turn on additional lights if you can but be careful of direct overhead lighting. This can create harsh shadows on your face.

What to wear

  • Solid colors work best on camera! Pro-tip, check your camera view before wearing all white, all red, small stripes or patterns because these can sometimes distort on camera.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry that may clink or clank against your headset microphone.
  • Wearing glasses is typically ok on video calls but it doesn’t hurt to check your camera view before the call starts.
  • Makeup may help make your features pop on camera, but it is not necessary for the success of your video call. However, face powder is your friend if you tend to be shiny!

Check your tech

  • If possible, connect directly to your router instead of using wifi for the best video quality.
  • Test your Internet connection, your camera, and your microphone before the call to make sure everything is in working order!

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