SOURCE: Inside Investor Relations
You know the look, and it’s a look you don’t want: dark shadows, muddy sound, the camera peering up your nose. TJ Walker, chief executive of New York-based Media Training Worldwide, says the problem is not that Skype is low quality, but that people don’t use it correctly. If he can do TV interviews over Skype, why couldn’t it be used for virtual roadshows?
Whether you’re using free video conferencing like Skype or FaceTime, or paying for a higher-end system like OpenExchange’s, there are easy ways to improve the quality of your presentation.
Walker’s technical tips
1. Don’t sit with a window in the background. You need more light in front of you than behind you.
2. Elevate your webcam. If you’re using a laptop with a built-in camera, put it on a stack of books or a shoebox, so the camera is at eye level instead of at a low angle, which is creepy and unflattering.
3. Get a cheap $25 microphone and clip it to your lapel so you sound crisp and clear.
4. To jump to the next level, get a longer microphone cable, a $200-$300 high-definition video camera and a tripod. ‘Then you can actually stand, walk around and give a keynote speech,’ Walker says.
1. ‘Smile,’ Walker advises. ‘If you look bored, it’s certain you will be boring.’
2. You need movement – your hands and/or your head.
3. ‘Reading is the absolute kiss of death,’ Walker adds.
4. Make-up for a virtual meeting? Don’t scoff. ‘You will look better with some powder so you aren’t shiny, or if you have a five o’clock shadow or dark circles under your eyes,’ Walker says.
5. Avoid plaid or striped clothes, which look distorted on internet video; white, which can cause ‘hot spots’; red, which ‘bleeds’ on camera; and black, because you can’t see where your body ends and your limbs start. A man might wear a blue suit, a light blue shirt and a solid tie, while a woman could try a solid-colored suit and a light-colored pastel shirt.