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Look better on Zoom


Lots of us are disappointed when we see ourselves on Zoom. Especially during nighttime Zooms, we see dark shadows across our faces and the background can turn black. Adding a ring light costs little and is a nice improvement. A decent sized ring light placed directly in front of you is ideal and will help to light up your face, making your zoom presence more appealing.

Zoom video manual settings

After adding a ring light, you may still see shadows. Windows Zoom app users should check their settings. After you join a meeting, click the "Zoom Meeting" icon at the top left. Then click the gear icon to go to settings. Choose video and note the setting for "Adjust for low light." If it is set to "auto", it may be saving your battery while leaving your face in the shadows. Change the setting to "manual" and move the slider to the right until the shadows on your face disappear and the background appears lighter.

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Add a USB mic

Some users on Zoom, Skype, and other online meeting platforms are often asked to repeat themselves and have to turn to directly face the laptop to be heard. Business users often set up a laptop with the Zoom call and a connected monitor to view web pages or files during the meeting. But, in that case you are not always facing your laptop and the laptop microphone may not pick up your voice well. The relatively small expense of adding a USB microphone to your laptop will solve that problem, besides much improving the quality of your voice. You don't need to be a podcast star to benefit from that external mic. My preference is a Blue Yeti, but there are many good ones.

Move your laptop up

Finally, Zoom users often set their laptops so that they are looking down at it, as you would normally do when typing. However, this generally results in an unflattering view of your face as the other meeting participants are in fact looking up your nose. Better to set your laptop on a shoebox or get a laptop stand to raise it a little higher so that you are facing the laptop camera without looking down.

Today Data and Web Services, Inc.

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