Tips for a better video call

Use these tips to make sure the people on your call can see and hear you clearly.


Cameras need good lighting to create clear images. Normal room lighting is usually sufficient for a video call. Some things to consider:

  • Avoid pointing the camera into a bright light or a window, as this can make you appear grainy to the other people in the call.

  • Avoid sitting directly beneath a light source if possible, as this can create shadows beneath your eyes and chin. Side lighting works well.

  • Position the camera at eye level where possible. This makes it easier to maintain eye contact and a natural human interaction.

  • Avoid getting too close to the camera or tilting the camera too high or low. Aim for a natural-looking image of your face and upper body.

  • Ensure that you, and anyone else in the room with you, are within view of the camera. Try to keep the camera centred on the person talking.

  • Look into the camera during the call, rather than looking at your own or another's image.

  • Some built-in cameras are of poor quality. Consider using a USB camera if your device is unable to transmit clear video.

    Tip: Many USB cameras have good quality built-in microphones, too.

Microphone and speakers

When using audio devices built in to laptops, mobile devices, and computer monitors or displays, bear the following in mind:

  • Microphones are directional, and the cameras of some monitors and laptops have a narrow field of view. Sit directly in front of the screen for best results.

  • Microphone and speaker quality can be poor. Using an external USB camera-microphone or microphone-speaker will increase the quality of sound transmitted to others.

  • In a noisy environment, use a headset that has a microphone. This will increase the quality of the sound transmitted and help minimise unwanted noise.

Video call etiquette

  • Depending on your internet connection, there can be a slight delay between someone speaking and you receiving their video and audio. This can result in two people talking at the same time. To improve communication, allow a pause before responding, to make sure the other person has finished speaking.

  • Mute your microphone when you are not speaking, to minimise background noise for others.

  • Remember that the other participants on the call can see you. Behave as you would if they were in the room with you.