“When your face is fuzzy and voice is tinny the message you hoped to give cannot be received.”
Suddenly everyone is ZOOMING. I love it when brand names convert to verbs, don’t you? I have been using GoToWebinar for umpteen years. Adding the ‘ing’ creates a six-syllable verb that just doesn’t cut it. (Try it: GOTOWEBINARING). Bottomline, they both put the power of virtual meetings within everybody’s reach, professional speaker or not.
Have you ZOOMED (created, promoted and hosted your own event)? You can answer ‘YES’ if you ZOOMED for a business meeting or a birthday party. How’d it go? Even if you’re not a ZOOMER, you have probably been attending umpteen online events. How’d they go? Did you kick or stick when the speaker was ick?
Although these video communications platforms are easily accessible and affordable, the chat itself can be dismal and disinteresting. The novelty of ZOOMING will wear off unless attention to quality turns on. If you build it they may not come (back) to see your smiling face and hear your engaging voice.
Your message might be compelling! Your delivery might be exhilarating! We just can’t quite see you or hear you very well. Despite your best intentions you will find yourself entering ZOOM DOOM. That’s when attendees evaporate with each passing minute (or stop showing up altogether). It’s a place that’s difficult to ZOOM back from.
I receive daily emails asking for the equipment list I use in my studio. I’m not going to share that list here (email me if you want it). I have accumulated terrific tools during my eleven years as a SoloPreneur because it’s my ‘job’ to be an endearing influencer. A/V quality is as important as my message.
These three ZOOM hacks will up your game without emptying your wallet. Improving the camera, the microphone and the lighting are the top 3 ways to avoid ZOOM DOOM.
- The camera hack: Don’t assume the webcam on your desktop or laptop is good enough, because it may be lousy. You don’t need to purchase an external webcam if you’ve got a good iPhone or Android. That camera will deliver a better picture. Experiment to see if you should secure it vertically or horizontally. Just be sure it is stationary and never hand-held.
- The mic hack: Don’t assume the microphone on your computer is good enough, because it may be lousy. You can purchase an external lavalier mic for under $20. Plug it into your computer and experiment with the distance from your mouth (as they tend to be sensitive). If you plug it into your phone, your voice will sounds beautiful but you won’t be able to hear a thing. So, use earbuds that have a built-in mic and you’re good to go.
- The lighting hack: Don’t assume your office light is good enough, because it may be lousy. Office/desk lighting is designed to illuminate the mountains of paperwork on your desk but not your gorgeous face. Even a fancy webcam can’t overcome lousy lighting. Failure is all but guaranteed when there is a window behind you. So, sit on the other side of your desk (no matter how weird it feels). Be sure that your face is flooded with abundant natural light and you won’t need to purchase LED lighting (even though they’re not expensive to buy). Sit outdoors if you must!
Want to be a better ZOOMER? I’ve got lots more hacks, if you’re interested. I want to take your virtual chats from good to great (or, from lousy to extraordinary). The three hacks I have shared here are the very basics that must be conquered urgently if your mission is to illuminate others. Have a look at my YouTube channel and for examples of a crystal-clear, well lit, good sounding GoToWebinar-er!
Stuart Cohen, Chief Motivation Officer at StuartLloydCohen.com
If you can think big, Stuart will help you do big! An accomplished 28-year travel industry executive turned serial solopreneur, Stuart is a creator of brands and an energizing motivational speaker. He motivates & maximizes personal performance in leadership, entrepreneurship, salesmanship & wellness.