In these times of social distancing, video calls have become our window to the outside world. Whether for work or for leisure, most of us are using them regularly, if not daily, to communicate with our friends, family, colleagues or our partners. Despite this regularity, many of us are still making simple mistakes that can spoil the quality of our calls. Therefore, in this article we have collated a series of easy, and free (or almost) tips to improve your video calls!
If you are able to connect to the internet via an ethernet connection, prioritise this over relying on a WiFi network, as this will eliminate interference caused by other devices. This option is especially recommended for business meetings or important calls where the connection needs to be at its best.
If this is not possible, and you can only connect wirelessly to a Wi-Fi network, we recommend that you follow these basic rules:
As a general rule, it is preferable to use a laptop or desktop computer to make your video call, as opposed to a smartphone. Typically the image will be of a higher quality and will have a greater stability. Secondly, video call software and applications generally have more comprehensive options than desktop versions than mobile versions. So if you are at home, prioritise the use of your PC.
As you may be aware, there are currently dozens of specialised apps for making video calls. Depending on your intended use, you will be interested in one or another. Due to their quality and reliability, we recommend Skype, Zoom, Google Duo, Google Hangouts Meet, and others with extra privacy such as Webex. And just to reiterate, if you have the possibility to, prioritise the web version.
If you want to know more about the best apps for making video calls, you can check out this article.
An issue that we often overlook is our personal presentation during video calls. Think carefully about what the other users on the call will see. Especially when it comes to a job interview, or a call with someone you want to make a good impression on. Here are some tips that can help:
Sound is one of the most important elements of any video call, arguably even more so than the image (unless you planned on playing charades). Therefore, we recommend that whenever you can, use an external microphone, instead of the one integrated in your device as this can help avoid unwanted echos.
Finally, if you notice that your sound quality isn’t too great and keeps cutting out, yet you still have a high video quality, try reducing the video resolution to preserve a better sound. You are better having a clear sound and blurred image, than a perfect image with a broken audio every few seconds.
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