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5 Essentials for Better Video Conferencing

By Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols | @stephenboswell | @kevinanichols

Video conferencing isn’t what it used to be. It’s simpler to set up, easier to use at a moment’s notice, and the quality has improved tremendously. It’s growing in popularity, partly because of the technology, but also because being able to see each other has real advantages over voice-only communications. The trends point toward video conferencing becoming part of the day-to-day communications for financial advisors in the not-too-distant future.

Whether you’ve been video conferencing for years, or just looking to get started, be sure to get engaged in a way that represents your brand properly. There are too many who fall into the trap of the utilitarian setup. My computer has a camera and I have a conferencing service – what more do I need? Plenty if you want to do it right. Here are five things that will have you looking like a pro in no time.

Camera

The camera itself is the least important piece of the puzzle. Most $100 webcams work fine in the relatively low-resolution world of video conferencing. The secret is in the positioning. We don’t want to look up your nose or see you sitting way across the room. The most flattering shots are taken from around eye-level and have you filling the frame (somewhat close to the camera). This is the #1 thing most advisors need to improve.

Lighting

Most of us face a computer during a video conference and the lighting usually suffers. A little bit of lighting directed at your face will raise your video quality immensely. Consider a small computer-attached light like this one to get you started.

Background

What will we see behind you during the conference? It could be a bookshelf, a conference room, or an open-concept office, but make sure it looks presentable. Try and avoid a window as your background – the brightness outside doesn’t usually show well.

Sound

Ideally, you don’t have to use a headset (it’s impossible to look cool in a headset). Oftentimes your webcam will come equipped with a microphone. Make sure you’re close enough to it. If needed, invest in a USB microphone to make sure the audio quality is pristine.

Screenshare

If you’re going to share your screen, be prepared. You want to have all the windows pulled-up in advance to make sure your presentation is seamless. There’s nothing worse than watching someone else fumble through screens and log-ins when trying to make a point.

There’s a difference in being involved and being involved the right way. Putting a little time and money into this initiative now, will give you more confidence in this growing medium. Tell us – how are you using video in your business?

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