Five Ways To Excel During A Video Chat

14 May 2020

Optimize how you are seen and heard while chatting on video

Video chat applications like Skype, Google Duo, Zoom, Messenger and Face Time are bringing people together and all work in their own unique way.

But one thing that doesn’t change is how well you’ll be seen and heard when you’re sitting in front of your computer, laptop, a tablet or a smart phone.

Before you sit down with a coffee and gear up for that video meeting, consider these easy fixes for issues that often surface when in video conferences.


Musicians have found that empty rooms with bare floors and walls cause echoes which reduce the sound quality. The same goes for simple voice communication.

An audio expert at The Recording Company tells me the easiest way to avoid the echoes is to get close to cushioned surfaces. Sit on a fluffy sofa or position yourself in front of some curtains. Hard surfaces like undecorated walls and hardwood floors simply bounce the sound around.

The absorption you get from cushioned surfaces doesn’t reduce the volume, it simply eliminates that canned sound that occurs when there are echoes in the room. It’s a common sight – that silhouette of a figure you see on the screen is actually a person who is sitting in front of their device with a bright light behind them.

It’s especially pronounced when that light is sunshine. If you’re sitting in front of a window to take advantage of the sound quality those fluffy curtains provide, see if you can close the blinds behind them; that can eliminate the silhouette effect.


The same goes for when you’re sitting in front of your computer or other device and the sun or other bright light is shining directly at you. Close the blinds or consider moving so that you’re not in direct light – that way your friends can see your face.


The standard microphones on computers and tablets don’t seem to work as well as those on smartphones, so the less noise in the room, the better. Turn off the television or radio and, to avoid disruption, mute your mobile phone in case you get a call during the meeting.


It’s getting easier to ignore the fact that most of the time, you’re looking at someone on your computer screen and it looks like they’re looking down, not at you. You look the same to them – that’s because the camera on your device is on top, and the view you’re looking at is down below.

Get yourself comfortable with looking up at the top of your device from time to time during your video discussion. It’s just like making sure you’re looking folks in the eye when you talk to them – or making eye contact with everyone in the room if you’re having a multi-person meeting.

Video chatting has made a real difference in the lives of people since the Coronavirus Pandemic overtook life as normal. But with a little practice, this form of communication that was once new will become commonplace.