Preparing your surroundings

Delivering presentations

July 27, 2022

In a post-pandemic world, video meetings are the new normal.

On average, there are 350 million people every day using Zoom for meetings. (That’s more than the entire population of the United States attending video calls every day! 🤯)

This means video conferencing is here to stay.

The ease of remote working is that you can work anywhere! But the same can’t be said for video meetings. While it’s easy to simply switch on your camera and start speaking, your audio and video quality play a big role in how effectively you communicate.

Here are some tips you can use to present your best in video. 🎬

Table of contents:

Coming Soon.

Positioning the camera

A well-positioned camera will make you look prepared. The ideal camera position is at eye level with your head and upper body centered in the frame. If possible, stand against a wall with few distractions or use a blurred background.

Take a look at these two images:

The images are similar but you’ll notice that the first image on the left is just slightly better because the speaker is in frame, unlike the second image where the top of his head is cut off.

In this example, the camera is positioned below the speaker so we are viewing her at an awkward angle. This can be distracting and take the focus off your presentation.

Tips to improve

Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to ensure you’re presenting your best on screen.

  • Set your camera at eye level. If you’re using a laptop, you can use books or boxes to set your camera at the right height.
  • Step back from the camera. Just a bit of distance from you and the camera can make all the difference. Try to position most of your head and upper body in frame to give your viewers a pleasing perspective.
  • Use a non-distracting background. Plain, solid color backgrounds work best, or bookshelves without trinkets or lots of decoration.
  • Don’t forget to do a video check before logging into a meeting! 😁

Lighting is key

No matter where we are, lighting is key to making us look good on camera.

In photography, the time right before the sun rises or sets is referred to as the “Golden Hour” because it casts the most flattering light for photos.

For video meetings, we can’t always catch Golden Hour—but good lighting definitely makes a difference.

Take a look at these two images:

The difference is pretty clear! 💡

Good lighting = better video quality

The quickest way to improve your video quality is to bring in more light! Here are a few tips to keep in mind when setting up lighting for your meeting.

  • Position your camera so you’re facing a light source.
  • Natural lighting is the best lighting—so sit in front of a window if possible, or open your blinds to let sunlight into your room.
  • Avoid sitting in shadows or direct sunlight. Shadows will cover your face and too much sun will wash you out (and have you squinting the entire time).
  • Avoid sitting in front of light sources. This will cause a silhouette effect around you, making your face hard to see. It also makes your video look dark and grainy.
  • Your laptop or computer screen can also be a source of light, so adjust your screen brightness as necessary.
  • If video calls are part of your daily workflow, set up a permanent space in your home for video meetings to save you time and reduce your stress.

Crystal-clear audio

“Sorry, I can’t hear you…” can be so frustrating to hear on video calls, especially if it disrupts the flow of your presentation.

Audio glitches are annoying for both you and your audience. While they can’t be entirely preventable, we have some steps you can take to help ensure your message is heard.

Before we can find our fix, we need to better understand what can cause bad audio first. The most common culprits:

  • Unstable network connections
  • Background or ambient noise
  • Faulty audio setup

Test your connection

Ensure you have a good network connection before your video call. There are free apps available online you can use to test your internet speed quickly.

If you’re experiencing a bad connection, try to move around your location to find a stronger signal. Sometimes it helps to also close any unnecessary background programs running to increase your bandwidth. 

Still uneasy? Host a trial call with a friend to check your audio quality before any important meetings.

⚡️ Prezent Pro Tip: Always be prepared with a backup—like a phone to call in or a Wi-Fi hot spot— in case you lose connection and have to find a new way to log back in.

Find a peaceful spot

Be mindful about where you take your video calls. You want to pick a spot that’s free of loud sounds or opportunities for people to appear in the background of your call. If you’re taking calls from home, find a space that is free from distractions and noise. If that’s not possible, be sure to use headphones with a built-in microphone to drown out the background noise and ensure you can be heard clearly.

Check your tech

So your connection is stable and you’re in a quiet place—but you still can’t be heard? Now’s the time to check your headset! 🎧

GIF source

For wired headphones, make sure everything is plugged in properly. For wireless gear, try unpairing and connecting again. If you or your audience are still having audio issues or hear any hums or static noises, it’s probably time to start looking for a new pair of headphones.

Present your best on video by taking the time to prepare in advance. With these tips, you can be sure your message will be heard (and seen) loud and clear!

Want more tips on video presentations? We've got 'em for you in this guide.