FAQ small business Technology
Teams

Creating the best at home video conferencing setup

Life now probably involves a lot more video conferencing now then it did a few months ago, which does not look to change any time soon. So to get the most out of it we have put together some tips to make your video calls look as good as they can.

Connection

Make sure your internet is up to speed and if using Wi-Fi you have a strong signal, you don’t want to lose connection half way through your call.

Most video conferencing software will have an option to carry out a test call to make sure your connection is fast enough and check what the call quality is.   Check our article on getting the best out of your home wi-fi

Light

One of the simplest and easiest things you can do to improve the look of your video is to simply turn on a light that you have around the house which you can move into a position that is behind the camera shining on your face. 

If you are not able to face a window, place a lamp next to your screen will help highlight your face.

Be aware of what is behind you

Before your call is about to start it is always worth taking a few seconds to check what is behind you and is going to be visible in your call.

Ideally you want to find a spot what the background is fairly minimal, close doors that are in frame, make sure you do not have any personal information on the wall that people could read.

If you are unable to move the location of your PC maybe try blurring the background in the call or select a background to use with in your video call software.   

Both Teams and Zoom have a good selection of backgrounds available and you can also add your own picture.

Use Headphones

Using Headphones of any kind will reduce and stop the chance of echo in your call from your microphone picking up the sound coming from your speakers.

Use an External USB Mic

Using an external USB Mic is another quick way to give your setup a boost and relatively low cost. It will help improve picking up your voice. Place your microphone at least 5 to 6 inches away from your mouth.

You may also want to mute your microphone when in a call if you are not speaking, as background noise maybe picked up and could distract others in the call.

For example: Zoom meetings will shift the video spotlight onto whoever is talking at the time, so if you cough or take a sip of coffee can sometimes be enough to switch the view from the person who is talking to the person making noise.

Optimize Camera Position

Try to keep your webcam slightly above your eye level, this means you will be looking straight ahead at the people on your call, which will feel more like an in-person meeting.   

Most built in laptop webcams are suitable to for video conference calls, raise your device by placing it on some books or invest in a laptop stand. 

laptop riser

If you are using a laptop stand then we recommend using a separate wireless mouse and keyboard.   

Using an external usb webcam can give you the best results, these can be placed on top of a monitor or may have a separate mount or stand.  Some cameras even have lights which can help to illuminate your face.   

Minimize Distractions

You don’t want someone walking in or a dog barking half way through your call, so make sure Pets are in a different room and let others in the house know you are in a call so they no not to disturb, perhaps stick a sign on the door when a meeting is in progress.  

Software Filtering

Krisp is a third party application which uses artificial intelligence to filter background noise.  Cleaning up background noise from animals, children, traffic, construction and even keyboard clatter.  Krisp offers both free version and paid versions and is very effective.  The free versions offers a 120 minutes per month of filtering, this maybe enough for one or two meetings and Krisp also offers a team option for central billing. For more information on Krisp click here.    

Should you require any assistance with your home setup please contact our team.