How to Zoom like a Pro

Watch the video above… or, read this!

Zoom is the hottest trend in video. It’s been the way millions of people interact as their new way of living for almost a year now. If you’re not having coffee meetings or networking on the platform, you’re missing out!

LIGHTS

Lighting is the thing to make you look good and get the best out of your web cam. Keep the brightest source of the room behind your computer or camera, so it’s shining on you. Remember, any light source that’s in your frame is essentially competing with brightness from you!

Bonus lighting tip, if you’re buying face or key lights for you, make sure you get them 5000k or higher (6500k, etc). This is considered the blue light and is the same color temp as sunlight. If there’s any window coming into where you’re recording, your camera will most likely auto color temp to daylight, as sunlight will typically be brighter than any light source you can find.

However, using 2700k and lower wattage lights in frame or slightly off frame can help create a warm balance of color to the blue daylight.

CAMERA

If you follow good lighting tips you can get a ‘decent’ image using your stock web cam (that comes on newer laptops). Heck, if your meetings are going to be smaller you can just use your phone horizontally and that camera is probably better than your web cam.

But, if you HAVE a higher end camera, a lot of them have released software to allow you to HDMI into your laptop to use that higher end camera as your web cam. You will look better but you’re always beholden to how much information people can take in, and so you still may be at a lower resolution as is.

At this point, we’ve all accepted crappy camera and lighting, and so if you can at least do that good, you’re way ahead of people.

AUDIO

A lavalier microphone is ideal to get the best audio. Our computer microphones work only in that 1 perfect spot, but a lavalier can follow us around and make sure to only pick up our voice, and not all the pesky background noise.

A couple things to note, if you buy just a 1/8 inch lavalier that will most likely take up your speaker jack, too, so you’ll be able to talk, but not listen. You’ll need to buy a combo microphone/ear piece so you can talk and listen through the audio jack.

The other option is a USB microphone, but then you’re beholden to always have an empty USB jack. Conversely, if you’re recording multiple people in the same room, this is where you should consider individual lavaliers to sync audio later, or multiple microphones so everyone has a microphone. Something usually goes wrong on every production so to have extra mic’s for everyone as backup is a great work around in case a cord or microphone is bad.

Microphone’s work like most new tech. Buy something inexpensive to test it out, if you need higher audio don’t feel bad you sunk $20 on the combo mic/ear piece and invest in a $150 usb mic, or the $350 USB mixing board with multiple microphones. See? Tech CAN add up fast, but especially while you’re testing, you can buy some inexpensive workarounds to understand what you need.

You do need to try, though. no matter how much you read, you need to try multiple things to develop a taste.

ACTION

Caution, once you join a meeting you might be live with audio and video, so make sure you’re not finishing up in the bathroom as you’re signing on.

Depending on the meeting there’s gallery and portrait view, so you can focus on just 1 person or up to 20 on a page (i think).

As a good practice, if there’s anymore than 5 people in a meeting, keep your microphone on mute until you’re ready to talk. hitting space bar can unmute you momentarily or just click the microphone icon.

Zoom meetings are intense. They feel more intimate than coffee meetings, yet the connection is less than in person coffee meetings, if that makes sense. They are however one of the only ways to easily do a video meeting and record it.

This can then be used to create podcasts and radio shows and video content without the added costs of hiring 3 people to come out and film! Sure the product doesn’t look the same, but you’re still able to get the message across. If you buy some stock footage you can help enhance the story and mood you’re looking to create!

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