Jumping onto a video call is very easy but it ‘s uneasy when you’re on a call with someone who’s giving you a full-on zoom up their nose. Camera angles often get overlooked because we don’t take the time to give these settings a quick check. But taking a minute to do this can certainly save a lot of embarrassment and improve the overall experience of the call. Each device has its own set of rules but ultimately it’s about seeing eye to eye – both literally and in agenda.
The rule of thumb for all devices is to always try to have the camera positioned at eye level is possible. If you’re turned even slightly away from the camera, this can wrongly give the impression that you’re not fully engaged in the conversation. Make an effort to reduce ‘gaze angle,’ meaning, you should try to place the camera near your display or where your eyes will mostly tend towards. We all have the habit of looking at ourselves in the camera view so try to look directly into the camera from time to time.
From a room system If there is a PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) unit in a video conferencing room system, you will want to make sure that your self-view or PIP (Picture in Picture) is on so you can see how you look to others on the far end. Try to frame yourself with some room above your head to the top of the video frame, and with enough room at the bottom of your frame so that your mouth is fully visible. In other words, avoid being zoomed in too far.
From a laptop The beauty of having a call via laptop is that you can sit comfortably sit anywhere while you’re on a call. The downside is that participants on the other end will likely be looking up your nose or get a roller coaster ride as you shift in your seat. The best thing to do is to place the laptop on a flat surface that is at eye-level. You can always go back to the comfy position after the call.
From a mobile device Cameras on mobile devices vary in quality but the best thing to do is to hold it as steady as possible so the picture doesn’t show up shaky on the other end. It will be a bit more difficult with a hand held device but try to hold it out as far as possible so others can get a full view. If you’re on a tablet like an iPad, try propping it up with the cover so that you get the best angle.
Though these may seem like small details, taking the time to adjust your camera angle can be the difference between an just an ok discussion and a great one!
Written by Virginette Acacio