With online and virtual, there’s no traffic jams or bad weather to get in the way of showing up. However there are pitfalls that can make you look bad.
There's ZOOM and slides and... ... the need to see your face on screen and hear your voice come through our headphones.
That's on top of the basic requirement for your words to make a lot of sense in very little time.
So here's 5 things you can do in order to improve your 1:1 calls at Next Round 2020
1 Internet Connection
Check to make sure your internet connection works.
Have a backup Wi-Fi hotspot available on your phone.
In case you're using your phone for broadband access, have it plugged in to a power source.
Put the webcam at eye level, using a laptop or camera stand.
For better video quality, use your phone camera (but keep cellular calls blocked).
GoPros 8 and 9 also work as webcams now. For advanced users, a video capture such as the Elgato CamLink will let you use a DSLR as a webcam, significantly improving image quality.
Bellow is a comparison between a webcam (B & D) and a DSLR (A & C). The webcam makes your face rounder, but throw enough light on it, you can get a decent result.
However a full frame DSLR will put you in a different league of immersion and presence. The bokeh will also nicely blur out the background.
3 Light & Background
But before you spend 3k EUR on a DSLR and a lens, fix your light setup first.
Make sure there is more light on your face than on the background and not the other way around. This means the office window goes in front of you.
Get a light, softbox, or some other source - youtube is full of recommendations and they're not expensive.
Remember, you will appear more convincing if we can see your face.
Here's a comprehensive tutorial on lights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NY8wWo_VBs
And a less extensive one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hccoy6ovsJQ
There are 7 million more in-between. Just check one out before you login to the call.
Remember to also clean up the part part of your office or kitchen in the background.
If you're using a ZOOM virtual background, again a good light source will help.
Pro tip - a 60 EUR green screen background will help do a stellar job separating you from the image.
Two things are key here:
A) Make sure there's minimal noise around you.
B) Use a better mic than the built in laptop one.
The problem with microphones is that they pick up sound from all over the room. A headset or a lavalier mic is an inexpensive way of getting much better audio. Airpods works wonders as well. Another good tip are podcasting microphones.
If on a budget, put the most of that budget towards the sound coming across great. Remember that announcer voice at the movies?
There are millions of tutorials on youtube on this. Invest 10 minutes on Youtube and you'll know what to do.
Be on time with at least 5 minutes to spare in case you need a reboot or can't find the link.
Check if the ZOOM call requires a password to login and have it ready.
The call will end after 20 minutes and the investor should have time to say something too.
If you haven’t already, apply for Next Round.