Working remotely has become the everyday norm for employees around the world. Video conferencing platforms such as BlueJeans Meetings have played an important role in helping dispersed team members continue to brainstorm, create, and meet while they haven’t been able to be together in the same office. While we are all rushing off from meeting to meeting and have a set pre-existing routine, there are many instances where a minor oversight can turn into a catastrophic embarrassment. We’ve all heard about floating heads, filter mishaps, and epic toddler interruptions that seem to make these meetings a little more than we bargained for. Reexamining your video-set up and making a small investment in preparedness for your next virtual meeting can have a huge impact. Here are some general suggestions:
Pick neutral backgrounds: Choose a clutter-free and neutral background for corporate settings. This is especially helpful if you’ll be presenting content on a regular basis to a large and varied group of participants. We recommend that you review the participant list before making the decision to give your next presentation from a sunny beach—while it’s possible you can take a meeting from anywhere, it’s important to pre-emptively “read the room” before you leave a lasting impression that you didn’t intend. A neutral background, like a pastel-colored wall, or a bookcase eliminates distractions and keeps the focus on you.
Check your lighting: While most participants focus on their appearance prior to a video call, lighting quality is often overlooked. A poorly lit background can render the point of a video call useless, if other participants are not able to see you clearly. In most situations, some fairly simple measures can eliminate dark silhouettes, shadows or bright backgrounds. Make sure that the primary light source is above or in front of you, so you don’t appear washed out.
Use a virtual background: When all other analog solutions fail, you can always rely on a little digital creativity. Decorate, elevate, and spruce up your home office by using a virtual background. This feature can help address many different issues simultaneously. A neutral virtual background allows for a more focused environment, while a themed background can be a great way to lighten up the mood and enjoy the experience of teammates getting together. Poor execution on a great idea is still disastrous. While there are several ways to ensure a good background, how and when this background is implemented, is just as important. Below are some tips for ensuring that you’ve set your background appropriate to your meeting.
Before you join the meeting
A very critical value proposition of the BlueJeans Meetings pre-join experience is the BlueJeans Dashboard or what we also call the hair check screen. This feature is specifically designed to enable users to put their best face forward – no joke. When enabled, the desktop app automatically shows the user their camera view; exactly as other participants will be able to see them once they are on the call. Use this opportunity to check your video frame, appearance, and attire. Next, pay attention to your background and consider adding a virtual background.
Under Preferences, navigate to ‘Virtual Background’ and then pick one of the following:
- Background Blur – Toggle the switch on and select a blur density to wash-out your surroundings and keep your person in focus
- Choose one of the default virtual backgrounds
- Add a custom background by choosing the ‘Add Image’ option
Once you have selected an appropriate background, move around in the frame as you would in the meeting and see if you need to make adjustments. After a meeting ends, users can use this same approach to modify the background for their next call. BlueJeans will remember your updated preferences and carry them into the next meeting.
During a Meeting
To change or adjust your background during an active meeting, click settings in top right corner of the screen and select ‘Choose Virtual Background’. Once again, you have the below three options:
- Background Blur
- Default virtual backgrounds
- Custom background by choosing ‘Add Image’
Last but not the least, along with preparing the best background for your next virtual meeting, don’t forget to spend a few minutes to gather supplies that you may need during the meeting…especially the coffee!