9 tips for successful online conferences

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The 9 most important tips for beginners and professionals

four people on a video conference

By following these important rules, you will become an online conference master

For many of us, online conferences are increasingly part of everyday work. And since most people work from home, the conditions have changed significantly in terms of space and technology. The following tips will help you become Queen or King of every online conference.

1. Camera at eye level

The position of your camera is an important factor in how you are seen by the other participants. Many use your laptop’s webcam and it then films your nostrils from below. Even if you say hey they are freshly groomed, they have other treats to offer. The camera must be at eye level. So laptop on two rolls of kitchen paper from the last hamster purchase or just a stack of books, an external mouse connected and off you go.

2. Note the line of sight

Slide the conference browser window as close as possible to the camera. This way you keep the line of sight and the other participants do not have the impression that they are looking past you. I’m just saying Clarence, Daktari.

3. Light is important

Please do not sit with your back in front of a window. The incident light hits the webcam and the automatic exposure control reduces the aperture. The result: You are sitting in the dark and your viewers think you are watching a trailer for „Nightmare on Elm Street“. You have so beautiful dimples. It is better that the incident light from the window hits you from the front. If you then have difficulty recognizing the screen, pull the curtains slightly to regulate the incidence of light.

You shouldn’t do it like this! The breakdowns of the WHO online conference.

4. Sound is more important

The tone is the communicative umbilical cord. If the sound is bad, the online conference will be a pain for the other participants. That is why I recommend using external earphones. Many smartphones bring them with them as accessories, they are not so bulky, and the built-in microphone is close enough to the mouth. Larger, especially closed headphones shield the ambient noise even better, headsets bring the microphone with them. However, you may be asked for the current position of the ISS space station. You should then be able to name them spontaneously.

Earphones by the brand Apple

5. Talk to the family – avoid background noise – mute the microphone

As funny as the Indian games of the little ones may be, background noises are an absolute disruptive factor in an online conference and distract massively. Consider whether the other participants can endure screaming children or barking dogs. In a smaller group it will work, but your online conference will go to hundreds of participants, so you should ensure that you have peace of mind during the online conference. The mute function within your conference is very helpful, so you can switch off your microphone for a short time. In addition, you suddenly avoid being displayed large on the screen, because most systems react here to the microphone level and, as speakers, switch to the screen prominently for everyone else.

Michael Westphal hosts the Video Podcast of Erding Gladiators

6. Clean up the background

If you are proud to have read all 95 Karl May volumes and now have them sorted behind you on your bookshelf, an ideal background looks different. Household appliances, kitchen shelves and cat trees also distract and make your presence appear unprofessional. A neutral background with no frills is better. Professionals get a green or blue background and activate the chroma key function. Then fade in pictures of white beaches with palm trees. Or just a picture that fits perfectly with the topic of the conference.

Elgato Green screen front and back view

7. Eat and drink – beforehand!

As tasty as your coffee may taste, in an online conference the consumption of food has lost nothing. Smacking and drinking noises in combination with the representation of the work of your chewing and swallowing tools will most likely be perceived as annoying. So that you don’t slip dehydrated or hypoglycemic under the lower camera line, even during long online conferences, eat and drink beforehand!

8. The right clothes!

As exciting as the psychedelic crochet pattern „Woodstock“ now in the form of your wool sweater may seduce the senses of your counterpart in real life, online conferences not only make the camera dizzy. Avoid eye-catching clothing and repetitive, small patterns. There is a risk of the moire effect and your textile element will start to flicker. And if you want to key chroma, then please don’t blue things against a blue background. Otherwise you suddenly miss important parts of your body.

9. Test your setup beforehand!

There is nothing more annoying than watching conference participants start operating their online meeting space unsuccessfully. Even with an online sign language diploma, you are undermining your authority and losing respect before the meeting even begins. Therefore: Practice a lot, practice regularly. You need to know where the camera, microphone and audio output are configured and activated in the operating system. The same applies to the conference application itself: where do I activate screen sharing, how do I select the screen to be shared? The nice thing is: You will need these skills again and again in the future. It is an investment in your professional future.

Laptop on a stand of books