Now that we’ve adapted to our new routines and adopted new technologies for staying connected with coworkers, friends, and family, it’s time to master these tools for our own benefits. Whether you’re a veteran or newbie to Zoom, there are a number of settings and integrations you can use to personalize the experience.
But first, let’s talk about your workstation set up for video conferencing.
Tips for your at-home set up
1. Position your camera at eye level
Let’s avoid the dreaded nostril or double-chin shots and get your camera focused on your face at the right level. Prop your laptop on top of several books you’ve already read. Then, move your laptop forward or backward to ensure your face is fully visible and not too close or too far away.
2. Adjust your room lighting
If your back is facing a window, turn around. This allows the natural light from your window to fall on your face and not cause issues with your video camera. If you’re in a room that doesn’t have a window, position a lamp behind your screen so it lights up your face. Side lighting can be tricky with shadows, so try to avoid that as much as possible.
3. Spruce up your background
Try to sit with your back to a plain or simply decorated wall. If you have the capability, turn on virtual backgrounds (check the settings in your video conferencing software). To add a little more fun, download the Snap Camera for fun backgrounds and image effects (e.g. makeup—I have blonde eyelashes and need all the help I can get).
A few Zoom tips
If you’re a Zoom video conference user, explore these handy keyboard shortcuts for saving time and quickly adjusting when someone unexpected walks into the room.
1. Quickly invite someone to your meeting
2. Share your screen
To pause or resume sharing:
3. Mute everyone at once
4. Adjust your settings to suit your preferences
A few settings I use include:
- “Mute microphone when joining a meeting” in the Audio settings
- “Turn off my video when joining a meeting” in the Video settings
- “Always display participant’s name on their videos” in the Video settings
- “Copy invitation URL to clipboard once the meeting starts” in the General settings
- “Enable Global Shortcut” in the Keyboard Shortcut settings—this allows me to multitask and use shortcuts while working in multiple windows during a meeting
- “Touch up my appearance” in the Video settings—this enables a soft-lens look like on TV
5. Keep Zoom open at all times
You never know when someone will invite you to join a meeting or you’ll need to quickly chat with someone.
Advanced Zoom tips
If you’re a more advanced Zoomer, check out these additional tips to up your video conferencing game.