Zoom: how to look and sound great

Can you remember those days that you’d barely even heard of Zoom? It was a need that popped up sporadically for meetings connecting continents and timezones. What a difference a year and a global pandemic makes! Zoom and other video call apps are now a regular part of work and play and it looks like they are here to stay, as most businesses eye maintaining remote working for the foreseeable future.

If this is the case, it’d make sense to master how to look and sound your best for them, right? Certainly, video or sound issues should be avoided in a professional setting. People squinting or leaning closer to see you can be disruptive. Constantly repeating yourself can interrupt your flow of thought. The most eloquent presentations won’t have the same impact if your setup is letting you down.

We’ve got a few tried and tested tips to get you back to your digital best. We here at WordlyWise regularly troubleshoot and arrange virtual events where optimum sound and vision are critical. So, we know first hand how to make the best of it.

Look better on Zoom calls

Making yourself look sharp is something that can make your calls more professional and boost your confidence.

Zoom Visual Settings

Don’t only look at your settings when things go wrong, tweak some features ahead of time to make sure things start off right.

  • First things first, head to your video settings and enable high definition. If you aren’t on a call, it’ll be the cog in the top right of your screen. If you are on a call, it’ll be the arrow next to the camera icon.
  • Next up are two overlooked visual settings, Touch Up My Appearance and Adjust for Low Light. Move the sliders from left to right depending on your lighting situation.

Let there be light online

If you’ve adjusted your video settings and are still in the dark it’s time to make some bigger changes:

  • The best way to ensure you’re seen properly is positioning yourself in natural light. If the light is uneven (i.e., if light is shining on one side of your face and not the other), reposition yourself so that you’re facing the light source directly.
  • Making use of artificial light like a lamp is perfect if the above isn’t possible. It can even out a one-sided light source or provide an even out your lighting by itself when properly placed.

Prepare your virtual self

We often occupy our time before a video meeting to grab a glass of water or quickly send an email. It may be more productive to use that time to get a glimpse of how you’ll look on the call if you’re worried about lighting or framing. That minute or so readjusting your light source could make all the difference.

Bandwidth check

It’s easy to forget that you may have selected your home broadband speed thinking it would only have to deal with streaming your favourite TV shows. Multiple devices, all drawing on your bandwidth could cause disruptions to your video quality, so consider disabling wi-fi on them for a smoother call. If this doesn’t work it may be time to think about upgrading your broadband package.

Sound better on Zoom calls

Choppy, interrupted video is usually a forgivable thing on a Zoom call, but broken stuttering audio can quickly make a meeting tedious at best and unworkable at worst.

Audio adjustments

Kids screaming, phones buzzing, traffic outside blaring, whatever your background noise, friends or colleagues probably won’t appreciate it. So if you aren’t using a headset, head to your audio settings and turn up the Background Noise Suppression option, which will lower the volume on unwelcome commotion.

Tech upgrades

Investing in upgrades can create noticeable differences for your sound. A new microphone can make a vast improvement to your overall sound quality, while upgrading to a newer sound card could boost your audio, particularly on older laptops and desktops. For special events, you can even rent out professional equipment.

Easy adjustments

Don’t be afraid to browse and edit settings for Zoom. One tick of a checkbox or drag of a slider could be the only thing standing between you and clearer calls. If visual and audio clarity are essential to your business function, don’t shy away from spending money on tech or a faster connection to give them a boost, the upgrade could reward you in the long run.