Looking good on a webcam requires a little forethought, mainly because your webcam is going to be limited in what it can capture.  But the steps to follow are pretty simple if you want to make a great impression in a webcam/Google Hangout type of presentation.  As always, you don't want to overlook sound, for both you and the people to whom you are speaking.  Eliminating as many distractions as possible and being aware of the mistakes you can make will turn that live hangout session into an enjoyable experience for everyone.

7 Great Tips for Looking and Sounding Good on a Webcam

1. Use A Lot of Light

Webcam sensors are small, and you need a good amount of light to let the lens see you properly.

2. Use A Decent Mic

The built-in mic on your computer usually isn't adequate for this kind of thing.  You don't even have to get something all that expensive.  Even something like iPhone earbuds with a mic on it would work fine.  Just something that blocks out distracting ambient noise.

3. Use Headphones

Eliminate any kind of echo that might occur from other people speaking that might get picked up by your microphone.  Also, use something that kind of blends in with the clothes you wear so that the headphones aren't distracting.

4. Look at the Camera

Making eye contact can be difficult because you can see all these people on your screen, and you want to follow them, but then you aren't looking at the camera directly above the screen.  Looking at the camera engages your audience a lot better than when you seem to be just looking down.

5. Avoid Glare from Glasses

It's recommended that you wear contacts during a webcam session because many times the glare from your computer monitor shows up in your glasses, making it hard to see your eyes.  People connect better when they can see your eyes (sort of like we discussed in the previous step).  Also, the lights you may have set up can cause glare as well.

6. Wear Solid Colors

Avoid crazy patterns.  Wearing white is best since the aperture of your camera will try to adjust for all the light in the room.  Wearing something like black will lot in a lot more ambient light, while wearing white will make the camera adjust accordingly and avoid overexposure.

7. Center Yourself

Get close enough to the camera so that people can see your shoulders and your face, but not so far back that they can't see your eyes, and don't give yourself crazy amounts of headroom where there's this gigantic space above your head.

You got any tips for looking and sounding good on camera?  Leave a comment below or on the video's comment section.  We'd love to hear from you!

  • Bianca Te Rito

    Hi Tim,

    Thank you for sharing - interesting point re - headphones. I did notice you wearing them in your live hang-out with Kevin and Jason via Video Creators – engaging watch too! Also appreciated the video tip on how to make mass updates to video
    metadata – what I time saver!

    Some “look good on video” tips that come to mind (having spent years in front of and behind the camera) but are often overlooked: Personal grooming for guys! Camera friendly make-up application for women – generally webcam framing is fairly tight so it pays to sweat the small details.

    Vocal, facial and eye muscle warm-ups! Facial tension can look magnified on-screen.

    A clean, clear or tasteful background setting (bedrooms, kitchen sinks, piles of laundry, grimy walls etc) are not ideal for "professional/first impressions" type interviews. Obvious yes – but often overlooked.


  • Grant Crowell

    Wow, real nice, deleting my comment for no justification! Best you should state your policy of only allowing compliments to please fragile egos and advertisers. (And don't lie like last time about not being responsible for it happening.)

    • Mark Robertson

      you're comment wasn't deleted but was flagged by the community.

  • Frank Burns

    Why Google doesn't link a search term directly to a YouTube (explanatory) video beats me? If I was searching for a #Health product, displaying millions of pages is helpful but not exactly on track. If my keyword was ("Nature's Way") Stress and fatigue Fighter tablets, why not show a 'pre-recorded video' on YouTube, explaining the direct benefits of using this product, with a direct link to the supplier. It would help people find the nearest supplier and store related to their geolocation and #search!

  • Grant Crowell

    Not a good recommendation on the headphones. The reason is that having a pair of headphone cables dangling right down in front of your neck and your shirt is distracting to an audience. That's especially true with a headphones like the one Time is using where there's a strong contract. What I recommend is getting a pair of behind the ear headphones, or even get an earpiece that you can hide in your hair. (Or in Tim's case, his cap.)

  • Casey Zeman

    Tim! Thanks for such a timely post! Awesome advice! I like that I can change the Bandwidth of the video to increase load time and quality...One of my favorite things! :)

  • Anthony Idle

    Nice tips Tim. I don't know why but I like to have a green plant in the background. Kooky but calming I think.

  • Chip Dizard

    Good tips Tim. I will surely share them with my audience and your post.