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How to improve the desktop virtual experience

By Cathy Hutchison

Virtual presence became as viable as physical presence by necessity during quarantine.

The challenge? Even when virtual connection is possible, the experience isn’t always that great.

You would think an international AVL design firm would have amazing virtual presence—especially given how much we instructed our clients on the move from the physical to the digital world. But having 100% of our team become remote workers within a week revealed just how little we were practicing what we preached.

We had to invest so our team could create real connection when interacting through their screens, and found everyone could improve rapidly with these four quick desktop fixes:

1. Get the camera to eye-level. For face-to- face communication, the position of the camera matters. We coached our team on how to position the camera at eye-level and frame to support face-to-face connection.

2. Get diffused lighting. It’s hard to connect with someone who looks like they are in witness protection. We helped our team light themselves, so their faces were bright and inviting.

3. Improve the audio. When we provided budget to our team, most spent that money on a quality microphone or headset.

4. Upgrade the background without going virtual. Virtual backgrounds are fun—but inauthentic. Our team started paying attention to what was behind them, coaching each other on art and paint colors.

For a deep dive on these four elements, download our cheatsheet: 4 Quick Fixes to Improve Your Desktop Video Conference Quality

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