Since COVID-19, we have been doing knowledge work mainly in the home office. While we used to be able to stand out in the real world with special clothing and strong appearance, it is now up to us to show this in virtual space as well. But how does it work? I would like to show you my personal equipment and especially focus on video and audio.
My zoom workplace
In addition to a normal desk to sit on, I myself also have an extra workstation to stand for important Zoom meetings. The advantage is that my vocal cords are not squeezed by the sitting posture and I can speak more freely. I also have an ergonomic mouse and keyboard and an anti-fatigue mat on the floor for fatigue after long periods of standing. Alternatively, I could raise my normal desk, but I like to change my position during the day to have a little variety.
- Buying tip: Anti fatigue mat
- Buying tip: Ergonomic mouse
- Buying tip: Ergonomic keyboard
- Buying tip: Standing desk
But how do I get my personalities across in the virtual world? Well, in video meetings it generally depends on the video / background and the sound. I would like to go into these two aspects in particular.
It is important to have our own voice – in general, it allows us to set ourselves apart. I find that laptop microphones often sound like we’re underwater. Of course, this hardly ensures dominance and recognition in the meeting. Even the perfect sound of the voice can help us to be perceived as managers and it is just fun to listen to us.
It is important that you are better than the average – so don’t just buy a headset, go straight for studio quality. It can help you get to the next promotion faster. I have a studio microphone with a USB audio interface. Do not do without the audio interface – because the good sound often does not work with pure USB microphones. The sound card in laptops is too weak to convert the good sound of the voice – as you know it on the radio. Don’t save at the wrong end – be better than average – stand out!
Video / background
Now it depends on the appearance. First of all, the choice of camera is important. look head-on into the camera – I think lateral views seem arrogant – don’t you think so? After all, we look each other in the eye in real life. You should use the good Logitech C920 to achieve HD quality. Features such as autofocus and exposure compensation also help to create a better picture.
Again, set yourself apart from the average – buy at least the Logitech or rely on an SLR camera. Here, too, I recommend 2 models, which I use for my online lectures. I would also like to mention that no camera works without good light – daylight is always best. If it gets darker, a ring light, which simulates daylight, so to speak, can be worthwhile. The ring light is a ring that evenly illuminates your face without putting an intense flash of light in front of your eyes. One last tip to buy a webcam cover is to be safe from hackers.
Remember: it has to be fun to be looked at. Your boss in particular likes to compare his employees with one another – set yourself apart here with audio and video quality. Stay ahead of the curve online too!
- Reading tip: Camera on or off?
- Buying tip: Logitech webcam
- Buying tip: SLR camera Nikon (expensive) or Canon (cheaper)
- Buying tip: Ring light
- Buying tip: Cover webcam
The background is also important – not everyone lives in a nice loft or has a nice stone wall in their study. Such backgrounds can, however, be simulated and adjusted in zoom – but a small veil is constantly forming around you. That’s because you need a neutral background in the form of a green screen. Such a green screen makes it possible that you can insert any background without a veil. You can also switch backgrounds depending on the person you are talking to.
Buying tip: GreenScreen
The perfect zoom appearance is important – just as you set yourself apart in the real world in a meeting with clothing, facial expressions and gestures – it is also important to stand out virtually. Video and sound are particularly important. Rely on new technology and do not save at the wrong end. It is important to be better than the average and also to offer the listener a pleasant experience.
Reading tip: Tips against zoom fatigue
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