COVID 19 HAS FORCED US ALL ONLINE
Not that we weren't online before but it seems like in the past few days, the internet has taken on a brand new persona. In this forced isolation, it has given us a window from which to escape. It is the outlet we plug into to connect with the world. But for businesses, the internet is now the oxygen mask from which they breathe. You can almost hear the beeps slow down from vital signs monitor as they head toward a flat line; save for the video conferencing that the internet provides.
Video conferencing has actually been around for decades. But since the outbreak of the Corona Virus, it appears that "Video Conferencing" is on the tip of everyone's tongue; rightfully so in our opinion. That being said, as a video production company, we are seeing way too much terrible video being passed as an excuse for communication. Even the NY Times in a recent article talk about how terrible the video conferencing is looking for the fortune 500 CEOs stuck in their home offices running massive companies.
In this blog, I want to give you 3 tips to create better videos even if you are simply using a webcam. But first...Let's avoid this...
1) Place the light source in front of you to evenly light your face.
The number one issue that we see when people are video conferencing is a lack understanding of basic lighting. Many times you see something like the example above where the light is behind the subject and their face comes in and out of "lighting focus". Even if you don't have professional lights, there are a couple of simple things you can do to create an optimal visual image. If you are chatting in the daytime, use a natural light source like a window to create a clear picture. At night, use a soft lamp. What you don't want is to overcompensate and have a hard, flat light directly on your face like a stage spotlight.
2) Turn your phone from portrait to landscape mode so that your image fills the viewer's screens. Because of 4G networks, mobile devices can connect from almost anywhere. We are seeing more virtual conferences happening from mobile devices which are, of course, now set up for HD viewing; 16:9 aspect ratio. This means that natively, when your phone or camera is in landscape mode, your viewers get to see you in full screen. This is especially evident when your viewers are accessing your live content from computers or tablets. In fact, most times the camera on mobile phones are better than what comes on your computer or even third party webcams. The audio tends to be slightly better as well which will lead us to tip 3 below. So when you are using mobile, use this simple tip to give your audience a better experience.
3) Get a decent mic that connects to your computer or phone.
One thing that can be extremely frustrating for someone tuning in to your live stream event is the background noise, the crackling of the mic or the wind interrupting the transmission (if you are outdoors). As a film professor once said to me, "You can work with shaky video, but there is no forgiveness for bad audio." If you are giving an important address to your company, delivering plans for the next quarter or simply addressing people in your circle of influence, the best way to engage with them in a coherent and professional way is to make sure your audio is crystal clear.
Using these 3 simple tips even in the most dier situations will take your video conference experience to the next level. People will appreciate the clarity you present with and even in the smallest way, the professionalism you are showcasing. In this very turbulent time, people look to their leaders for strength and direction. It is amazing what a simple but quality video can do to create stability in viewers. For a perfect example of what I am describing look no further than President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his Fire Side Chats where he addresses a hurting nation in the midst of its worst economic crisis. In a time when the country was suffering, he used video to address and comfort the United States.
Reach out to us to learn more about how our live streaming options may be able to help you safely and professionally deliver critical messages to your audience. Learn more at www.Blackwhitemedia.ca/services