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Videoconferencing: six tips to improve PC video calls | Stay at home

Video conferencing has become part of the routine of many users, who have replaced the face-to-face meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic. In this context, apps like Zoom Meetings, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have become quite popular alternatives. However, you need to be aware of some tips that can improve your use of video call services. Cares such as the positioning of the camera and lighting, or even guaranteeing the best quality of Internet and possible sound are essential for the smooth running of the meeting. Here are some tips on what to do to improve video calls on your PC.

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How to make a group video call on WhatsApp

How to make a group video call on WhatsApp

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Just as it is time to take a picture, lighting the place where you will be during the broadcast is important. Because of this, the best way to position yourself is to avoid having your back to a window, as the light behind you confuses your device's camera and leaves your face dark. The best options are to leave the window in front of you or to the side, and compensate for any lighting problems by turning on the room light.

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Taking care of the camera's position and the lighting of your face are important precautions Photo: Divulgao / Teleport

Taking care of the camera's position and the lighting of your face are important precautions Photo: Divulgao / Teleport

In addition, avoiding being near windows also helps you to avoid problems with external noise, such as street movement.

2. Position the camera at eye level

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If your webcam is dedicated, try to leave it at eye level Photo: Aline Batista / TechTudo

If your webcam is dedicated, try to leave it at eye level Photo: Aline Batista / TechTudo

In addition to the sound, try to level the camera with the height of your eyes. This way, you prevent the other people on the call from seeing your face from the bottom up, which reveals unfavorable angles of your chin and nostrils, or from top to bottom, where everyone will have difficulty seeing your mouth and eyes.

This problem tends not to be very common on laptops, since most have a webcam at the top edge of the screen. If you use an external device for the task, try to mount it on a trip, or create a support so that it reaches the desired height.

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Remember to maintain a proper posture, sit comfortably and maintain professionalism Photo: Divulgao / Zoom

Remember to maintain a proper posture, sit comfortably and maintain professionalism Photo: Divulgao / Zoom

It is important to sit comfortably and with good posture in the chair, in addition to dressing properly, especially in corporate meetings. If there are other people in the room, such as children and pets, it may also be advisable to close the door and isolate yourself during the call.

Other touches of behavior are also important. The transmission of your audio over the Internet, combined with that of other people at the same time, can cause some confusion. Therefore, avoid talking to another person so that all participants can hear you clearly.

4. Use a headset

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The use of headphones prevents noise in the call Photo: Reproduo / Internet

The use of headphones prevents noise in the call Photo: Reproduo / Internet

The positive point of using a headset with a microphone avoiding feedback: the person on the other side will not listen to themselves, as would happen with the integrated microphone of the cell phone or laptop. Another important aspect is that laptop microphones tend to have limited audio quality and are subject to catching unwanted sound, such as noise from the computer fan and even the noise of typing.

In addition, it is good to leave your microphone on mute while you speak, a posture that is highly recommended to prevent the noise of the environment in which you are disturbing the other participants of the call.

5. Check the Internet speed

Check your connection by testing the speed with specialized tools, like www.webcamtests.com. The site offers a mechanism that tests whether your Internet is performing well enough for a video conference. Another idea is to use the testing tools built into the apps and video chat services you use.

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Try to connect via network cable for a more stable connection Photo: Fillipe Garret / TechTudo

Try to connect via network cable for a more stable connection Photo: Fillipe Garret / TechTudo

In case of problems with the Internet, try to identify apps and resources that may be compromising your connectivity: heavy file downloads and video streaming on other devices on your network can interfere with the connection speed. If possible, also try to connect your computer via network cable to the router, as this improves the stability and speed of your connection.

6. Test ahead and have a plan B

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Try to test everything in advance and develop plans to handle emergencies Photo: Paulo Alves / TechTudo

Try to test everything in advance and develop plans to handle emergencies Photo: Paulo Alves / TechTudo

At regular work conferences, there are times combined in advance, something that should ensure you have time to test and check that everything is working. Invite a co-worker, a friend or family member to test the video conference and make sure everything is operating normally.

Another good idea is to have a plan B in case things don't work at the time of the videoconference: using the audio chat feature, for example, and having a second device on hand are good strategies.