Found yourself hosting more video calls of late? This short webinar is the first in a series the team has created to help you optimise your conference calls. The following video is stuffed full of practical tips to help marketing and sales teams nail their video setup. The webinar focuses on three key areas: setting up your PC for video calls, picking a location for filming, and how to optimise your audio. Enjoy!
Hi, I'm Jon from Noisy Little Monkey. In this video, I'm going to go through how you can best set up your computer, your room, and yourself for a video call. Be that an outbound video call that you're going to embed into a sales email. Or maybe a video that you're recording for your website. Or maybe one of those video conference calls that we're all doing as we work from home - it's become so popular. Hopefully you'll get plenty of practical tips, but it's particularly useful for sales and marketing teams. So in this video we're going to look at setting up your computer, setting up your location and your position and audio.
The first thing to think about when we're thinking about your computer is that many of us are using computers that may have quite a lot of bloat on them, a lot of clutter. And video uses quite a lot of processing power. So what you have to do is basically clear the decks and give your computer enough focus in its little computer brain and enough room that it can focus on the job at hand (which is recording this video). So, close everything down that you're not using. Don't have loads and loads of tabs open, particularly Google. Chrome's appalling for that. But let me share my screen with you and I'll share a couple of other quick tips that I use all the time.
So I'm going to escape out of this PowerPoint presentation. Let me escape out of there. And down here, this is on windows. There'll be different things on Apple. But down here you've got a little arrow. If you click on that with your left mouse button, it'll bring up lots of little things that, that you probably don't notice very often. So the first thing I always do when I'm recording a video is pause my cloud storage system. So in this case we're using Google Drive. You might be using One Drive or SharePoint or a variety of other things, but most of them, if you right click them in their little tab, you can pause syncing. So I'm going to do that now which will give me a bit more processing power and not use up too much of my vital WiFi. That's my antivirus. Don't really want that starting a scan while I'm doing a video. So right click that, click on “pause protection” and I'm gonna pause it for 30 minutes.
So that's been turned off and now I'm also going to, once my notification has gone out of the way. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I am going to turn off my IT support company’s remote connection to my PC. I don't want them jumping on while I'm doing this, so I'll turn that off for 30 minutes as well. Okay. So that's all that turned off. That's really begun to give my PC some brain time and operating space to be able to record this a bit better. The next thing to look at is you're probably, if you're creating some sort of a webinar, you're probably looking at sharing your screen at some point. So clearly don't have your emails open in the background.
That's a classic move that people make. And you see notifications coming up about their emails. And that is not only a problem for, you know, maybe your competitors are watching your video and seeing your emails come from your clients. But worse than that, it's a data privacy consideration for your clients and your family and friends who all might be emailing you as well. So make sure you haven't got your emails open. I would also then think about minimising distractions. Make sure that you haven't gotten notifications coming up from Slack and from any extensions in Chrome and stuff like that. So up here we've got the HubSpot sales extension. That can be a bit problematic because it will sometimes tell me that people are reading my emails. So I've right-clicked to manage extensions in Chrome and I'm just going to turn that off and that should kill off.
Any additional notifications that I might be getting. What else would it be good to do? Well, this looks all a bit cluttered. I've deliberately left it because I wanted to show you how to manage your extensions, but let's minimize distractions on the screen. I'm clicking and dragging that, so it's got rid of all of my extensions and I'm going to right click and untick ‘show bookmarks bar’. And then suddenly anything that I'm going to show you on this screen is nice and distraction free. I'm actually gonna put my bookmarks bar back because I need to use it later in our conversation. But now suddenly you can see all of this stuff that's making you think ‘what’s he got in there?’ I really want to see it minimize distractions so that people can concentrate on what you're doing.
A lot of people forget that it's easier to have all of the tabs open. This is my standard demonstration set of tabs that I've got open for when we're demonstrating HubSpot. We're a HubSpot Diamond Partner, but here's another set and I can open all four of these for when I'm doing an SEO call. I can open all four of these before I have the call with the client and it means that they can see what's going on. And I don't have to wait for, ah, this isn't loading. This is a bit embarrassing. Like this - Majestic isn't normally that slow, so hopefully I haven't gone offline. Let me bring back some of those extensions so I can see this is still recording. If you haven't got something, if you don't want to use bookmarks, you can use something like session buddy, which is a bookmarks manager.
Here is a, here's my demo folder. So I've labeled it there and I can click open on that and I can open all five tabs in a new window again. So again, another useful way of saving it and you can share these with your colleagues. So that's the first thing is let's minimize distractions. Let's make sure that we're not getting any notifications. And let's make sure that we haven't got any data privacy issues. We're not showing any personal data on the screen.
Okay. So the second thing is thinking about your location. It's absolutely crucial that you don't get too close to the camera like this. So many people do that and it comes across as overbearing and unpleasant, even when you're as good a looking chap as I am. The other mistake that people make is sit a long way away or at a funny angle. And that also isn't very good for your viewers. The best thing to do is get central. Have a little bit of space above your head, a little bit of space to either side of you so that you don't feel too like you're being squished into the middle of the screen, have enough room all around the, the, the, I know the way I'm lit here is not using anything professional. As you can see, I just looked like a normal human being.
This is what my desk looks like. I'm lucky enough to have a what's it called? A skylight above my desk. There's also a lamp there and I'll show you why that's there in a second. It's really useful to sit in front of a natural light source and I'll show you why that might be in a sec. In fact yeah let me come to that now. So let's come back to me here. Display settings. So here I am with natural light and that's all rather wonderful. But if I close the blind, I'm all a bit dingy, which is why I've got this light. You can't see it, but I've got this light here. If I flip this on, it's pointing at the wall, it gives me a bit of reflected light and hopefully I look a little less sinister. Although I always look quite sinister.
You don't want to have too much it pointed like that. That probably looks like you're being interrogated, try and reflect it off something close by that's not very bright light, but hopefully it gives you a better idea of what you can do. That's my blind back open. It is quarter to six at night in March in the UK, so it's not actually very light out there. The sun is beginning to go down behind the houses behind us. And yet there's still plenty of light. Think about your position: if you don't have a camera up at the top of your screen above your screen like I do here, often you'll end up seeing that kind of thing. And you probably see people on conference calls where their camera is down there by their keyboard because that's where it's built into the laptop.
If you have that, go to buy a Logitech camera from Amazon, probably about 40 quid for a standard Logitech camera and that will really help you improve + it will help you not have double chins or look as weird as I do there. The other thing is try and make sure you've got as plain a background as possible. Now if you're working from home, that can be quite difficult. Katie, my colleague sometimes does these videos, sat against her bedroom wall with the PC on a very low table so that she has a nice plain background. When you see it online you just think it's a relatively well done business video. Not well produced video cause she does occasional gaps like I just did there and the camera is only her webcam but it still looks much, much better cause she's got a nice plain background.
I've heard horror stories about people doing telephone calls and you can see their underwear drying behind them in the spare room on the clothes rack. If you've got that sort of issue, just pick up a sheet to the, to the, to the roof behind you or at least drape something over your underwear in the background.
Finally I want to talk about your audio. And the important thing about audio is that you want to, it can absolutely ruin a video if you've got external noises coming in or if it's really echoey, you know, you've been on those conference calls where someone doesn't have a headset or and you get all of that echo-y noise in the background and they just don't sound quite as clear as I do.
That's why you need a headset, have a headset, you look a bit stupid, but the audio is great and people get over the fact you've got a headset on when the audio is good. Make sure you close your windows, close your doors so we're not hearing any external sounds because your headset's picking up, hopefully just your mouth. You can use a mic like a blue Yeti mic if you really don't like headsets, but then make that, that's mounted on something that's soundproof.
Once you've finished the video, the crucial thing about audio after that is to send it to something like rev.com and get an SRT file, which is a subtitles file or a, some people call it closed captions so that people who can't hear your audio can read the subtitles in the closed captions when it goes live on your website. And also don't forget a lot of videos that go live on social. We've got subtitles on and people listen to, watch them, without the sound. So that's it. One final tip for audio I guess is put your phone on silent. It's so annoying when someone's phone goes or when your phone goes off when you're right the way through recording one of these things.
So pause your high processor usage programs, minimize your on screen distractions, minimize distractions behind you, face a window, have space around your face, use reflected light if necessary, use a headset, keep outside sounds outside.
If you want any more advice on how to create great videos for your digital marketing or digital sales, Noisy Little Monkey is a digital growth agency. We're a HubSpot Diamond Partner, so we know all about sales and marketing automation. We'd be delighted to help you out. We give lots of free advice. Hit us up. We'd be delighted to help. Or join us for Business as Unusual, our weekly webinar for marketing professionals, sales bods and business owners.
Founder and Technical Director of Noisy Little Monkey, Jon blogs about SEO and digital marketing strategy.
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