Presentations and virtual meetings are now a norm for business meetings and events. You need to know how to use lighting effectively so your message comes across clearly, and your audience is engaged in what you have to say.
There are several lighting techniques you can use that will help define a person’s face during a conference call. Natural light is always better, but for those of us who are late-working night owls, there are also great solutions.
Tip 1: Use Lots of Light (More Is More)
For most webcams or cameras built into your phone or laptop, the more light there is the better. It will make the camera perform better, which reduces the chances of your video becoming pixilated and blotchy.
The light should also be focused on your face, particularly if you are leading a meeting or presenting to a group of people. Having the lighting focused on a particular area or object also helps to minimize distractions.
The more light you have focused on where you want the audience’s attention to be, the more effective your command of the virtual space will be. The audience will remain engaged, and you’ll therefore achieve more from your meeting.
Tip 2: Don’t Light the Background
Be careful not to light the foreground of your surroundings too much. At the very least, make sure that more of the lighting is on your face than in the background of where you’re sitting. You can do this by adjusting the spot you work in or by including more lighting sources in the right places.
Having too much light in the background will not only create distractions for your audience or team members, but it may also cause you to become silhouetted against the harsh light. Too much light in the background will remove all the focus from you.
You can reduce the amount of background light by just adjusting where you sit. For example, a window may generate too much background light if you sit with your back towards it. If you can, try turning your desk around so that the natural lighting from the window is on you. You’ll achieve the desired lighting effect.
Tip 3: Add Supplemental Light Sources
Lighting can help to create a tone for a meeting or a presentation, especially in the virtual space. Supplemental lighting can help highlight certain aspects of your face, but also creates a balance for tone through the temperature of the lighting.
By this, we obviously don’t mean how physically hot the light bulb gets. Rather, the color of the light bulb creates warm tones through yellow and orange colors. You can achieve cooler tones through white lightbulbs.
Changing the tone of the light can also help different complexions. Cooler tones will help make you look fresh and are great for more formal meetings. Warmer tones are perfect for less formal conferencing.
Lighting sources such as desk lamps are great as directional sources, as they are easy to move around so that you can manipulate where the light hits to suit whatever you’re going for.
Supplemental lighting will also help if you are working in a space where the background is naturally light. If you can generate more light to focus on your face and create a contrast to your background as much as possible, this will help reduce the background light. As we mentioned earlier, minimal background lighting is preferable.
Tip 4: Use Window Light When Possible
If you can, try to sit facing a window. Aside from the fact it gives you a lovely view for work, the lighting from a natural light source is always the best for video conferencing.
Sunlight or natural light from a window created the ideal tone for a professional video call. If depicts your facial features accurately, which will allow you to convey your concentration and interest in a call. Your clients and colleagues will appreciate being able to see you properly and it will draw more attention to you when you take the floor.
Natural lighting is also better as you won’t have to worry about power cuts or annoying flickering lights. It will always be “switched on” unless, of course, you work at night.
If you are a night worker, there are some great products on the market that mimic natural light. As a side note, natural light is significantly better for mental health and optimizing your productivity during the workday.
Tip 5: Light Up Your Face And Smile For The Camera
When on a video conference call, the best rule of thumb to follow is to make sure your face the main focus of the call. You can achieve this by focusing lighting sources on yourself, instead of what’s around you.
Having your face as the main focus of your video frame will engage your audience and demonstrate your genuine interest in what is going on, thus pleasing your client or your colleagues.