How to look better in video meetings: Tips from TV news people

  • TECH
  • Sunday, 12 Apr 2020

If you want people to be able to see you properly in video chat, make sure any light is in. — dpa

Whatever you might be using to connect with colleagues these days – Zoom, Google Hangouts, Slack video – meeting safely during the coronavirus pandemic means no one from your office knows for sure if you're wearing pants.

Still, as we sit in these meetings in our little Brady Bunch-style boxes, waiting for someone's cat or child to liven up the proceedings, it's hard to forget we're on camera the whole time. Or maybe it's hard for some of us to remember?

We asked some Philadelphia TV news people who've lately been adapting to working from home for tips on meeting on camera:

Lighting, lighting, lighting. "It's always about lighting," said Good Day Philadelphia's Mike Jerrick. Make sure any light is in front of you, and to avoid being backlit, "try to be up against like a solid wall," said CBS3 chief meteorologist Kate Bilo.

Consider using a headset with a microphone for better sound. "It helps a lot if you have the earbuds," said Good Day Philadelphia's Alex Holley. Don't want an echo? Try working in a smaller room. Carpeting helps, said Holley.

Check behind you. "'I always tell people watch what's in the background," because someone's bound to notice what you haven't, said CBS3 anchor Jim Donovan. "I've seen people do report from bedrooms before and you just never know what's on a countertop or sitting behind them at a distance."

Consider raising your camera to eye level. "I've got like shoe boxes piled up and my iPad on top of that because I was very conscious of eye level, because a lot of people ... you look up their nostrils," said Donovan.

All that said, don't stress about your appearance. "Just show up," advised NBC10 morning anchor Lucy Bustamante. "All that matters in this moment ... is your mind." – The Philadelphia Inquirer/tca/dpa

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