• Chris Massey Magic

5 Tips For Better Online Calls

It seems as if Zoom has become The platform for online meetings, calls and - of course - magic shows! But there's some cases where in these meetings, there's a distraction. Something enough that it detracts from the main point of the meeting. These distractions could ruin an effect, lose your audience or even lose a sale!

So here are 5 tips from what I've learnt to help you have better online calls.



1. Invest in a good mic

Microphones play a huge part in online calls and can come in various shapes and sizes, and aren't that costly. Because of where I plug in the mic and where I stand, I need a clip on microphone with a lot of cable length; you may not need that (it only costs £9)! The main thing is you want a pop shield or wind sock. This is the little thing that goes over microphones and reduces the pop from P, K and F sounds. Super handy and won't distract anyone during the meeting.


2. Get some Light

Lighting plays a huge part in making the quality of the picture better. Sure you could go out and buy a 1080p camera, but most online call systems only run at 720p. Natural light or a light behind the camera doesn't only help with the brightness (naturally) but it also helps with the tone, mood and the atmosphere. Lights will help with the professionalism of your call.


Two lights, one behind the camera and another at the right (this is an old setup but you get the idea)

3. Look at the camera

I'm sure we're all guilty of this. Looking directly into the camera can help your audience (especially during conferences/ webinars) feel more engaged with you. If you're reading from a script/ bullet points, write them out and stick them near the camera. Don't look at the screen with your face on it the entire time (or your script!); people can tell and will become quickly uninterested!

4. Clear the Background

So you've got the lights, you're looking at the camera, you're looking dapper, but wait! Why is there some laundry behind you? Now I know that Teams has a blur background and you can add your own background in Zoom but I find these more of a distraction, since as soon as you move, it will "break" the background (so to speak). You're better clearing your background and have the focus point as your wonderful self.

N.B: this doesn't mean remove EVERYTHING on the walls, a dynamic background is fine as long as there is no obvious clutter in the camera view.



5. Check for Software Updates

This is mainly specific to Zoom but a huge one. Having the latest update for any software is important as it will have any bug fixes that may have been found in the previous version, and any software updates that the developer may have created amongst other things. Zoom - for whatever reason (unless I can't find it!) - does not automatically check for updates. So before your meeting check you have the latest version.



There we are. Some simple tips to help you go from Zoom No to Zoom Pro! Thanks for reading and hope to see you all soon; either during a virtual show or in person!


Cheers,


Chris

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ChrisMasseyMagic

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. UK

Cambridge Magician

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