Every day, there are millions of video calls worldwide. Some calls are for remote workers, while others involve people communicating with family. You may also do a video call when checking in with a partner for a little long-distance romance. No matter the occasion, you want to look your best during these virtual meetings.
Before you set up your next video meeting, Skype session, or Zoom call, don’t overlook the importance of where your video is angled. Where you position your laptop for video calls has an influential role. The placement will affect how you present yourself when communicating with others. Of course, every video call also requires reliable hardware. If you want to look great on video calls, using the best laptops and webcams can make a world of difference.
Additionally, body positioning is crucial for successful video conferences. Let’s learn how to position your laptop optimally for video calls.
Place the laptop camera at eye level or higher.
The best laptop camera angle can make you look attractive, appropriate, and engaging in video calls. Low angles are the worst. Never position your laptop where the camera looks up at you for a video call. That unflattering placement may create a double-chin effect or show a close-up view of your nostrils. Instead, put your laptop camera at eye level or with the camera above looking downward towards you.
Many modern laptops have built-in cameras designed with excellent quality. For example, the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX3 offers dual cameras. There’s a standard HD webcam, which comes with a privacy shield. Additionally, you can find the second camera by the keyboard. It allows users to capture videos when they convert the Chromebook to tablet mode. The versatility of this laptop makes it a popular choice for individuals who make video calls often.
Put your laptop in front of your light source.
Another crucial aspect of video calls is the lighting. Don’t place a light source behind you or directly in front of your laptop camera. It will look distracting and emphasize all the wrong areas of your face, leaving you with a shaded silhouette. Instead, a front-facing light behind your camera makes you seem more presentable. This placement flatters the right parts of your face, giving you a clean appearance.
If you have a window, this is ideal. Natural light is always the best light for a video call. Put your laptop in front of any natural light, so the sun is coming at you and not behind. If you don’t have any natural light, take a lamp and put it behind the laptop. The light should hit your face straight-on. Sometimes, you may be in a room with no windows and limited lighting. If so, consider buying a small ring light for proper illumination.
Put wires, food, and accessories out of the way.
You want your laptop plugged in, so it doesn’t rely on the battery to function. Also, the laptop wire shouldn’t trap you with little room to navigate. Likewise, avoid any cables hanging down since they could pull on the laptop if you get up and move.
If you’re used to having food and beverages, move them away. You don’t want to risk having something spill or getting knocked over midway through a video call. If you’d like water or coffee nearby, ensure it’s in a closed cup. For similar reasons, don’t place your laptop near any accessories that could fall, spill, pull, or cause a hazard.
Have your laptop at an appropriate distance.
A worry many people have with video calls is the appearance of their skin. A camera zooms in closely on your face, highlighting its imperfections. The better your camera’s quality, the more detail gets captured on screen.
To counterbalance this effect, place your laptop at an appropriate distance away from you. The camera should capture your face, upper torso, and background. Consider a video filter if you want to experiment with that aspect. If you aren’t sure where to position your camera, no more than two feet in front of you is a good rule.
Have a tidy, clean, and plain background.
When you put your laptop for a video call, you want to know what is behind you. Take a close look at your background and ensure there isn’t anything inappropriate that would catch someone off-guard. A work call is where you want to be careful about showcasing things like books, photos, or provocative art. The best background is plain and white in most cases.
If you can’t find somewhere to put a laptop with a plain background, at least ensure your surroundings are clean and organized. For example, put away all dirty dishes if you do a work call in the kitchen. Keep counters clean and don’t have any food out to maintain a professional impression.
Test out your laptop video beforehand.
The last step of preparation is to test the video call beforehand. First, ensure you dress in the appropriate attire. Then, check if the camera and lighting are where you want them to be. Afterwards, practice by making a call that lets you see yourself and what everything looks like on camera. You can do this by calling your smartphone to have a quick look.
This way, you can make the adjustments privately if anything doesn’t quite look right. When your real call happens, you will be ready and comfortable for it, knowing how everything looks.