Setting up your video conferencing studio

Setting up your video conferencing studio

Advisors have embraced video conferencing as a convenient and safe way to meet with their clients. According to Putnam research, 78% of advisors say that changes to their engagement model made during the past two years, such as video conferencing, have or will become permanent.*

Whether Zooming from your dining room table at home or from your office, keep these tips in mind to continue delivering great client service virtually.

  • Pick the right room: In your home, look for a room that can be closed off from household noises and distractions. At your office, find a space that is private and that reflects your office’s culture and vibe.
  • Lighting is important: Sit in a well-lighted area. Look for locations within your home or office studio that receive sunlight from the left or right, or, if that is not possible, invest in a ring light.
  • Choose your device: Your desktop or laptop may be the most convenient webcam to use, but sometimes your phone or tablet may have a better camera built in. Do some experimenting to determine which device delivers the best resolution.
  • Place your computer, tablet, or phone at eye level or slightly higher: This will not only help promote good posture, but will also give meeting participants a clear view of you. When the computer is at eye level, it is most like the in-person experience.

Sit in a comfortable chair that does not swivel. If it does swivel, try not to move too much during filming. A low-backed chair is ideal. If you choose to stand, be sure to pay attention to the framing of the video – your natural stance when standing and talking may move you out of the frame!
  • Look into the camera: This is sometimes difficult, but maintaining eye contact is crucial to an effective video conference.
  • Fine tune the meeting background: Look for a wall that has minimal distractions with neutral artwork, organized bookshelves, or closed drapes. If this is not an option, try a virtual background from the Zoom library, or upload additional background options to your profile. Your company may provide you with a branded background, too.
  • Test the audio: Most video conferencing programs will default to the computer’s default audio. Choose display or auxiliary audio inputs if available, and ensure that the speakers and microphone are in working order with no echo prior to the call.

Our communication expectations have shifted dramatically over the past two years. Quality and production value are still important, but clients are much more forgiving and are not expecting an overly-polished production. What’s important is the frequency and effectiveness of online meetings and advisors’ ability to provide an authentic, comforting, and confident experience. By having a firm grasp on the technology and production standards required of a successfully video conference, you can continue to build and enhance your important client relationships.

* Putnam Social Advisor Survey, 2021.

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