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Using Zoom – Make it Good

If you are planning on using Zoom to do a live performance here are five tips to make it good or at least better for you and those who will be watching. I hope they help!

Practice your piece in front of a camera.

Consider sitting down in front of the camera you’ll be using for Zoom and speaking or performing your piece as if you were live. For those doing scenes, limit your scenes to no more than THREE actors or you’ll find it hard to keep it flowing on Zoom.

Check your background.

You don’t want your background to be distracting. Sure a colorful backdrop, a bookcase or something else is nice but if you have movement in the background or a large visible area behind you people’s eyes will wander. Keep them trained on you by limiting and controlling what’s behind you.

Make sure we can see you.

Lighting is extremely important. The best light comes from in front of you. You can sit in front of a window for natural light or put a lamp or ring light in front of you to brighten up your face. If you’re back is to a window or other light source, consider closing curtains or blinds or dimming the lights so your camera doesn’t adjust to the brightness behind you, leaving you in the shadows. Dimly lit videos are distracting to watch as we naturally strain to see the person and that takes our focus off ‘why’ we’re there in the first place.

Make sure we can hear you.

If you are using the mic on your laptop camera, do a test recording. Do you need an external headset or microphone? Plan ahead so you sound clear when it’s time to be on.

Be mindful of your clothes.

Stripes and polkadots while really nice in person can come off really busy on television or the screen. Big prints usually don’t have the same effect. You can double check this by holding up top options in your camera while logged into Zoom.

Being on Zoom.

Remember – People can see you. Once you’re camera is on try not to be overly active as it can be seen by others and can be very distracting. If you need to move about, turn off your video and then turn it back on when you’re settled.

A note about your equipment. I strongly recommend using a stationary camera so that your hands are free. If you need to mount it, do so ahead of time so you are set up to go when we begin. First impressions!

Make sure you’ve got Zoom installed.

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