Six tips to look stellar on video

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This equipment guide will help you look stellar on video, no matter the purpose. Use it for video conferences, webinars, or speeches. In the end, you will find recommendations for products I’m using.

video conferece

The best location

Find a quiet space with a good internet connection and use a laptop or desktop computer with a decent webcam rather than your smartphone. Cable-bound internet connections (via a LAN cable) are usually more stable than wireless connections.

The camera

In-built webcams of most laptops don’t provide good quality. It’s much better to connect an external webcam via USB. You will also be more flexible with positioning it at the right angle (see below).


Even more critical than the video is audio quality. Built-in microphones (both those of laptops and webcams) aren’t good. Instead, choose an external mic. Three different types are relevant for video conferences:

  • Lavalier microphones that you pin to your shirt
  • Dynamic USB microphones (handheld or with a microphone stand)
  • Headsets (with cables or via Bluetooth, in-ear or over-ear)

Each of these solutions has its advantages and disadvantages. Cable-bound solutions generally provide superior audio quality but limit your ability to move around. If you plan to sit, this may not be an issue, but consider it when you plan to deliver a speech standing up. Headsets have the advantage of combining a microphone and speaker, but a lot of the over-ear versions are bulky and don’t look good on video.

Handheld microphones are flexible, but you need a stand. Holding them in your hand is not advisable unless for a short amount of time.

If you’re not opting for a combined headset, you should get an earphone to listen to the audio. Never use an external loudspeaker. The sound can “bleed” back into the microphone and create nasty distortions.

The best position

If you’re sitting, make sure to sit on the edge of a chair with your upper body straight and your shoulders relaxed. Leaning back looks like slouching. When speaking, look directly into the camera instead of the screen.

The camera should be on the same level as your eyes or slightly above – in any case, avoid an angle from below, which is unfortunately quite frequent when you use your laptop’s internal webcam and place it on a table in front of you. Use some books or similar to place it at an appropriate height. If you’re using an external webcam, you can also put it on a tripod.


Make sure that you are well lit and without any shadows in your face. During the daytime, you can use natural lighting, for example, from a window. Otherwise, LED lights are cheap. They come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. If you don’t want a lot of hassle, opt for a ring light that sits around your webcam.


Don’t forget about the background. It will be continuously seen during your session. Look for something that does not distract. Avoid anything that has shrill colors or moves, not least because things that move eat up bandwidth. There are also foldable backgrounds in different colors that you may use.

Recommended equipment



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