Explore the various reasons and scenarios for taking the extra steps to improve your webcam video and audio.
- Webcam video is completely ingrained in our professional and social fabric. In a given day, I may participate in upwards of eight or 10 video calls in my job at LinkedIn. Many of these are basic planning meetings, but some are high stakes executive presentations or interactive trainings for hundreds of participants. After work, I may jump on a video call for my non-profit's board meeting or a PTO event or a virtual book club. And then, of course, there's those evening calls to the grandparents. No matter the context, video calls are an essential component of our way of life. They carry with them so many of the interpersonal components of in-person conversations, content, tone, facial expressions, and body language. And they also allow for extra communicative perks, like multimedia presenting tools, screen sharing, interactive chatting and polling, and the ability to record. And all of this can be done in a way that allows people all over the world to instantly connect. It's an incredible tool. Still though, people's quality standards for webcam video vary widely, and sometimes unexpectedly. You can just tell when someone puts the effort into making their video look and sound good. And when they don't. And be honest, if you join a video call that looks like this, are you ever really completely present? If you're like me, you're often distracted by the poor aesthetics, which means the conversations can suffer. But when your video looks great, not only do you eliminate those barriers of distraction, but you create an environment where the conversation can thrive. Not only that, but when you put in the effort, you in turn make a positive professional statement. It really can say a lot about your persona and your brand. The good news is, is that once you decide to up your webcam game, you really only have to do it once. Most people take video calls from the same location, using the same equipment. So making the change now will set you up for success in every video conversation going forward, whether you're presenting to dozens of people at a high stakes meeting, or whether you're just grabbing a quick catch-up with your colleague. But no matter who you're speaking to, you'll be offering the same level of clear, consistent quality.