How to look good on Zoom without breaking the bank

Nov 8, 2022 | Tips & Tricks

Below are a few little things you can do to really improve the quality of your Zoom and other video presentations.

Be the brightest object in the room. 

  • Position yourself with a window behind the camera (not behind you) or on one side of you.
  • Your light source should be at or, ideally, above eye level.
    Lighting from below is reserved for horror movies and rock concerts
  • If you have a window to one side a reflector can help fill in the other side of your face
  • If you need more light you can use lamps or purchase something like these which are very inexpensive.
    Good all-around budget lighting kit Impact Soft and Natural Single Socket 2-Light Kit
  • You can use a standing mirror as a reflector or aluminum foil spread out on a cardboard

Be heard: People are coming to hear you speak

A quality microphone will make a HUGE difference in your viewer’s ability to understand you

Blue Yeti Condenser Microphone
Rode Wireless GO II
  • AirPods Pro (not regular AirPods) or a lapel microphone are good options
  • Quality Budget Mic for speaking and podcasting – Blue Yeti
    You must be within 2 ft of this one for quality sound
  • Quality budget lavalier for when you have to move around Rode Wireless Go

IMPORTANT: If you are moving away from the camera to demonstrate physical movement the Lapel or Airpod options above are best

Before recording/streaming, reduce background noise:

  • Close windows
  • Turn off A/C and fans
  • Mute/turn off phones
  • Feed the dog 😉

Video and Framing:

Framing is a critical component of presenting online. We want to simulate real life as best we can by setting our camera up properly before we begin. Too high and you will look small and unimportant. Too low and you will give your audience the feeling of being towered over.

Logitech StreamCam

The camera

This is an area where you can spend enormous amounts of money HOWEVER I have found that this camera is the very best plug-and-play affordable option with the added bonus of using two of them for easily showing multiple angles live.

View the Logitech StreamCam

Sticking to the Rule of Thirds

  • You will have to move further away from the camera if you plan on demonstrating anything physical 
  • Come closer to the camera if you will be talking for a while
  • Always use a tripod if using a phone or tablet –
    Affordable Tripod with Phone Mount 

Watch this excellent visual explanation of the Rule of thirds

Separate yourself, visually, from the background

  • 6’ from the background is a good guideline but position yourself as far from your background as possible. This will create separation and draw the focus onto you. It also prevents unattractive hard shadows behind you.
  • Try not to have your back against a wall

Need more help or guidance?

I am available for one-on-one and team consultations to get you and your studio set up right.