As people are adapting how they present themselves through webinars, Zoom meetings, and virtual events become commonplace, everyone’s home (office) is now turning into a makeshift video studio. Good news is you don’t have to be an audiovisual expert to create professional-looking footage unless you’re planning to deliver a professional service. Here are some easy tips, tricks, and budget-friendly product recommendations for recording video and live streaming from home.

How do you look?
To look your best on-screen, avoid overhead lights as they cast shadows on your face and go au natural. Try to have the light in front of you.

If you’re directly facing a window, diffuse the light with a curtain so that it hits your face symmetrically and isn’t too bright. And although some more video savvy people have started using influencer-friendly “ring lights,” the light reflects on your eye, creating a tiny circle that can be distracting unless you’re shooting a music video and that’s a nice touch to add to it.

Using Zoom? Select the “Touch Up My Appearance” option in the Video Settings menu for an instant digital retouch that smoothes out skin tone.

How do you sound?
If you’ll be broadcasting from home on a regular basis and want clear, crisp audio, consider investing in a lavalier mic that easily attaches to your shirt or blazer. Keep in mind that you’ll likely need an adapter to use a lavalier mic since most feature headphone jacks aren’t available on newer model smartphones.

Backgrounds
Funky Zoom backgrounds might be appropriate for your virtual happy hour with friends, but for work-related calls and virtual conferences, keep your setting minimal. Keep it distraction free so bookshelves and white walls are great. Stay away from walls that might have scuffs and very visible electrical cables, and unruly plants.

You might look more intellectual if positioned in front of a bookcase but try to sit or stand a couple of feet away from it; you don’t want the book titles to be so obvious that people start reading them and not listening to you, (or disapproving your taste in books!)

Where do you put the camera?
Position the camera slightly above eye level and make sure to look into the lens, not the screen. If you’re using a desktop computer or laptop, you might need to upgrade its webcam for a clearer picture.

Do a test run
It will look clumsy if you go into a “room” unprepared or looking disheveled. Try going into the room 5 minutes before you’re supposed to, to check the mic and your camera. If you’re going to be presenting in front of a “Live” audience and recording the session, no where the buttons are so you can aid your guests.

If you’re using your laptop for the video call, switch off your WhatsApp on your laptop and put your phone on silent. If you’re wondering why your video setting seems to be dreamy or hazy, remember to clean your lens.

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