Nobody tries to look awful on Skype! It’s a case of not understanding webcam technology and not knowing how to look your best on a webcam.
We’re going to solve that problem right now.
How to Achieve Video Quality
First, let’s deal with video quality.
• Be in a well-lit room. If the level of light in your room is low, the webcam will amplify the light to make the picture brighter. This reduces video quality.
• Whether it’s a lamp or light from a window, arrange your seating so the light source is coming straight at you.
• Don’t be backlit.
• Don’t be sidelit.
• Don’t be filmed from below. Place your device so the lens is level with the top of your head. It might be necessary to place your device on a box.
• Don’t get too close to the lens. Most devices have wide-angle lenses, which exaggerate the size of what’s close to them.
• Use a simple, light-colored background. If you put yourself in front of a dark background, the webcam will think you’re in a dark room and will try to pick up as much light as possible. In the process, your webcam will overexpose your face.
• Look at the lens, not at your image on the screen.
How to Achieve Audio Quality
Video is one half of the Skype equation. Audio is the other half.
Quiet spaces are best for audio quality. The perfect space is one that has objects in it (a soft couch, for example) to absorb echoes.
The microphone in your tablet, laptop, or webcam probably isn’t very good. To achieve higher quality from both ends of the conversation, use a USB headset with a microphone. USB headsets, like the Plantronics 478, are available for about $30.
Two More Tips
Before you make an important call, do a test call with a friend.
To see how you look on a Mac, go to Skype>Preferences>Audio/Visual;
on a PC, go to Call>Video>Video Settings.
What tips do you have for looking your best on Skype? Please share them in the Comments below.