When it comes to video conferencing for work, this is something that many of us use to do only on occasion, typically either with customers or with our fellow colleagues. Now that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is currently gripping the world in which we live, many states across the country have decided to implement stay-at-home orders, which have caused many businesses to take the step of transitioning their employees to work from home.

Because of this, video conferencing has become the new normal for many of these workers; however, there are also those who may not be too familiar with it and also not know exactly how to go about it. Thankfully, all it really takes is some slight preparation and common sense, regardless of exactly how many people you will be conferencing with.

Here are four useful tips to make note of for setting up your own home office for video conferencing.

Practice Run

Take the time to make sure you’re fully prepared, especially if it will be your first time taking part in video conferencing. Prior to taking part in your first official conference, consider engaging in a practice one. Set up both your audio and lighting, and when you’re satisfied with both, contact a friend or family member and see how everything looks from the other end. Your friend or family member will be able to give you some tips on how you can improve things on your end so that you will be better prepared for your video conferencing involved with work.

Clean Background

When it comes to your overall environment, it’s important that you keep things as simple as possible. While you don’t want the environment itself to be completely empty, you also don’t want it to be completely cluttered either. The best suggestion is to make sure that the background of your video conferencing call is as uncomplicated as possible. For instance, try to keep all framed photos out of view, as these could be distracting to others who are taking part in the video conferencing discussion.

Check Your Audio

Always make sure you check your audio. Everyone taking part in video conferencing wants to be heard just as much as they want to be seen. If you are actually in a quiet room, chances are you will be able to use the microphone that’s on your laptop; however, if you aren’t in a quiet room, your best bet may be to use a microphone that’s closer to your face. Alternatively, you can also use a pair of headphones or earbuds that are also equipped with a microphone, especially if they allow you to speak at a level that is more conversational.

Center Yourself

Keep in mind that during a video conferencing conversation, you are the main focus and that everyone else taking part will want to clearly see you in order to feel that they are speaking directly to you. Make sure that you position yourself so that you are able to be seen from your shoulders to your head, or even from your waist to your head. If you were to position yourself any closer, it could be overwhelming to those who are also taking part in the video conferencing discussion. Additionally, it could also run the risk of making your face too hard to see.

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