Presentation Tips and Best Practices

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  • Set your camera at eye level:  Often, this means propping up a laptop.  
  • Position your self-preview window near your webcam: Use your mouse to move your video preview of yourself close to your webcam. This will encourage your eyes to look near the webcam, rather than off to the side, giving your viewers the impression that you are looking at them.
  • Check your light: The best lighting is diffused, from both sides and not overly bright.  Two small lamps on either side of your computer, placed slightly behind the camera, is a simple way to achieve attractive lighting. Avoid having a window behind you, as this may create a “witness protection program” effect.
  • Charge your headset: Ensure that your computer and audio equipment are fully charged.
  • Green screen: Zoom has the ability to create “virtual backgrounds” behind you. These are not required, but can be handy to obscure a cluttered background. These work best if you have a true “green screen” behind you, but it is not strictly required if your computer has sufficient hardware. Click the up-arrow next to the “Start Video” button on your Zoom toolbar to access the virtual background feature. Choose from the images provided or upload your own. We recommend nature photos from, but remember, keep it simple! You are the star, not your background.
  • Don’t compete for bandwidth: If you are presenting from a location with consumer-grade Internet bandwidth, ensure that you are not competing for bandwidth with others in your household. Someone may have to take a break from Xbox gaming.
  • Silence the interruptions: Turn off your phone and exit any programs that might pop up notifications during your presentation (e.g., Slack, Outlook, Skype, etc.)  Note that an iPhone, particularly, will ring on a Mac that’s attached to a phone, even when muted. If you have pets, children or poltergeists, take precautions to ensure that they do not disturb your presentation.