An audio call is as easy as typing in 10 digits and talking. You could be unshowered and disheveled and no one would know as long as you spoke clearly and paid attention. With the growing ubiquity of video calls for personal and professional communication, a whole new set of expectations have emerged.
Here is how I prepare for an important video call with Google Hangouts but the core concepts apply to Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom as well.
If you don’t have Google Chrome installed on your computer you will need to install it for Google Hangouts to work.
If you light yourself like the Wistia video shows you to, your image quality will be dramatically better.
As a bonus benefit of lighting yourself well and having a simple background, you will actually improve the performance of your video stream since the image compression will be better.
Prepare Your Audio
Use headphones. This used to be a must because the audio feedback would be insane. However, recently the streaming software has gotten better at filtering out background audio. Even with these advancements, it’s still a good idea to use headphones.
If you have a nice microphone use it!
Even if you don’t have a nice podcasting microphone, you will almost certainly benefit from using something other your computer’s built-in mic. Standard Apple Earbuds or Airpods are great choices.
Whatever you use, make sure you can change the audio devices in the call prep screen:
Open the Options menu (red arrow).
Open the Settings menu (red arrow).
Use the drop-down options to switch your input (your microphone) and output (your speakers) sources.