What could be more banal than a video in these troubled times? And what could be more painful than finding the right angle, the right light or the right material. A successful videoconference with family or colleagues takes a little preparation. Here are our tips.
Master the light
Even if you have the best smartphone in the world, light is still crucial for a successful video conference. Depending on the launch time of your video, your light source will be different. The goal here is to find harmonious lighting to highlight your face.
During the day
If your video takes place during the day, prefer natural light and stand facing the window. Soft frontal light will illuminate your entire face and limit shadows. For those who wear glasses and not to have reflections in your glasses, shift slightly to the side.
These are obvious, but they need to be stated: do not stand with your back to the window to avoid the backlight effect, nor to the side at the risk of having half your face in the shade. If necessary, draw the curtain to soften the light and turn on a lamp.
We will also pay attention to direct sunlight which not only may dazzle you, but will also harden the image of your video. You will be overexposed and your background will become very dark.
Practical tip: natural light will highlight all the details of your scene. Take good care of your background! Finally, daylight is not always easy to tame because it can sometimes be capricious, suddenly passing from bright sun to cloudy sky. You may not have your video conference in the same place every day.
In the evening
Your interior lighting will be your friend for a successful evening video. Forget about ceiling or halogen lights whose strong, sometimes cold, lighting generates unsightly shadows.
For the end of the day / evening, choose several points of light depending on the room where you are located. If you are with your back to a wall, a soft light on the side of your phone may be sufficient. Otherwise, turn on multiple lights in the background. This will add depth to your scene and give it a cozy effect. Be careful, night falls quickly in winter, you can quickly find yourself in the dark. Be prepared to turn on a light during your video or you may not see each other after a while.
2. Face camera
Thanks to your smartphone, you are much more flexible in sharing an immediate moment with video: making a homemade cake, your child’s latest artistic creation or sharing the stupidity that your animal has just done. hair. The back camera is there to share these small events.
If you have opted for video mode with the front camera, it is recommended not to move your phone too much at the risk of making your interlocutors dizzy. Putting down your phone can also prevent an arm cramp.
The basis: we ban the telephone placed on the table. Your interlocutors will benefit from a magnificent view of your chin and nostrils! We will therefore bring the phone to eye level. If you can, stare directly at the front camera when you speak, your interlocutors will be more captivated by your speech.
Your face should be about two feet from the phone (stretch out your arm to find the right distance between you and the camera) so you can see the tops of your shoulders and your hands as you move them. We often underestimate body language which is just as important as your words!
To put your phone at eye level and if you are not yet equipped, you can opt for a tripod or an arm. If you already have a pedestal, enhance it on books or boxes so that you can be seen clearly.
Finally, during a video for work, do not forget to warn those around you and close the door. This can avoid some disappointments!
Horizontal or vertical video?
On this subject, there is no predefined rule, everything here depends on the context and the number of interlocutors.
During a professional videoconference, at the time of Zoom and Teams, your interlocutors will certainly sit in front of their computer – landscape mode is therefore recommended.
With Messenger, WhatsApp or even Google Duo, when you are alone, it is more common to use portrait mode (and also easier to hold your smartphone). If there are several of you facing your phone, landscape mode will prove more practical for adding other participants to the call.
In any case, don’t panic, the applications manage the 2 modes and crop the video if necessary.
3. Treat the atmosphere
For the pro, with confinement, we bring work to our little home. Your decor is not necessarily to the taste of your interlocutor (s) and can arouse their curiosity. Organize your calls in a neutral, tidy place and a background without too many family photos or objects showing an overflowing passion. For those benefiting from an outside, avoid the calls from your terrace or your garden, privilege a room where you will know how to concentrate.
Did you know ? In the Teams or Zoom apps, you have an option to blur or change your background scenery. The fine sand decor with palm trees should be used in moderation.
Little extra: add touches of color either with a piece of clothing or an object in the background or a colored wall. A little cheerfulness will be rather welcome at this time! Favor solid colors with colorful or flashy patterns.
4. Be clear and audible
If you’re alone in a room with little to no noise, use your phone’s audio. You will speak more naturally, more clearly and you will more easily create commitment … with the counterpart of being the victim of the first noise around you. If you live as a couple or with children, a blunder happens very quickly (“At the table!”, “You wouldn’t have seen the Switch Papa?”).
In this case, the helmet is recommended. Avoid the famous white wire with lots of knots or the gaming headset and opt for discreet wireless headphones. Samsung has come up with some very good things lately with the Galaxy Buds Live.
If there are several of you during the video, do not hesitate to mute your microphone when you are not speaking. Noises are just as annoying for you as they are for your interlocutors.
5. Test before and not on your audience
Before starting your call, don’t forget to check your internet connection and give the front camera a little wipe. Do not hesitate to activate the front camera (by pressing the right button twice on your Galaxy S20) and to preview the atmosphere you will create during your call. There is nothing worse than starting a video while technical or environmental problems pile up. This is excusable in the family context, less in the professional context.
Here is a summary of our recommended plans and those to be excluded:
Now all you have to do is apply these tips to be a pro at videoconferencing with your smartphone!
As a bonus
You computer doesn’t have a webcam? Here is a mini tutorial on how to use your smartphone as a webcam for PC / Mac. For information, your smartphone has much better cameras than your PC or Mac which often only has an HD webcam.