Look your best zooming & live streaming
Updated: Aug 8, 2020
Head to Zoom or your live streamed event, like you are heading to a gig. With so many artists doing online live streaming events and concerts, it is important to pay attention to how you look to the rest of the world. With all the Zoom activity out there, no two Zoom events are alike, and more often than not the zoom surroundings and vive don't invite viewers to stick around for the whole show. How you operate in a live streamed event, can have an impact on your overall branding. Most recently, we had posted a photo of a Zoom private session on social media, and one of the participants requested to have approval before photos were posted since it was felt it would have an impact on the participants brand. Whether or not it is a tiny photo or full screen shot, this is a valid point, as many people have a more relaxed look when on private Zoom events. Taking a photo of a private event then changes it to be viewed to the social media world.
Finding the perfect spot to Zoom
Make sure you do your performance in a spot you are comfortable with. We've all seen many messy bedrooms and due to the curiosity factor with this new open your home environment, people will be checking out your surroundings so make sure things are picked up. Seeing dirty dishes, piles of papers and dungeon like rooms won't help your show. It is best to test out some location options and with the weather getting warmer outside events would be a welcome change. Bring on the sunshine to your shows and even think about doing your own porchfest. With so many venues starting back slowly with live music, porchfests will become more popular since the audience can be spread out. If you plan to do a series of events, change your location in each one to mix it up a bit.
Ideas for locations include driveways, porches, front steps, breakfast nooks, basement at home studios, and instrument room.
Before a Zoom event there is a lot of think about. You used to show up at gigs where you had no control over lighting and the overall environment, and now you are faced with a lot of decisions to make such as lighting, location, camera angle, etc. Ring, cell phone tripods and mics are all hot sellers in the quarantined life we are living.
With gloomy weather it can be more challenging to find a spot with good lighting, so use some added lighting you have available at your house. See you have had any flashlights which have softer lighting and point them to the side of where you will be performing. You can also try a backlight effect from behind. If you have a few lamps around, you bring them in closer. You want to create a nice ambiance so don't have it be so bright you look washed out. If is is a daytime event, use the natural lighting and sit facing a window at about 6-10 feet away. Finding a room with many windows would work even better. A good way to test the lighting is to have your cell phone in selfie position and walk around checking the different angles. This will help you to find the most flattering lighting. It is always best to face the light source. On the shot above the PC was at an angle to catch the sunlight. There were no other lights on in the room so natural sunlight is pretty powerful.
People have been stuck inside for months so they want to see uplifting shows and that means lighting has to create that mood.
Touch up your image
There is a control in Zoom many people don't know about, and that is the "touch up my image" option in Zoom. This feature is a filter that softens your face, making it look smooth. To turn on this filter, click in the video button, look under your image and turn on the option "Touch up my appearance". Once you do it, it is on for all calls. Each day we are discovering there are some super hidden tools available in Zoom.
Come with your gig best look
How you look and feel will affect how you perform. Some artists I can't even recognize as it looks like they are hiding their natural selves. Don't overdue with all the apps and special effects as it really takes away from the performance. People want to see you!
Camera angle can make or break your show
If you have the camera set up too low, your face can look distorted and at times you can be shooting in the up your nose position which isn't all that flattering. To fix this issue, simply raise up your computer so it is above you. You can use books, a small table, or a casserole dish flipped over. Always test the set up before going live. So, having the camera face downward is the best approach to look your best.
Tidy up your background
Don't start a session apologizing for the messy background as the minute you do that you've lost your audience since they will be focused on the mess. Light a candle and put it on a table close by, remove trash cans and clutter, and make sure there are not piles of stuff surrounding you. The key is to make sure the background is not distracting. Keep in mind you live there so it is your comfort place, but the rest of the world has never seen you in a home environment. On Zoom you have the option of uploading a virtual background or selecting a Zoom background. One quick fix is to use a sheet and put it behind you by taping it to the wall. To get the wrinkles out you can put it in the dryer along with a damp cloth.
Bad habits can kill a performance
Don't yawn or fidget in your performance, as it right off the start, makes it seem like you don't want to be there. If you are doing a show with a few songs, you want people to stick around for the whole show so make sure you are into it 100%. Eating and snacking in the middle of a performance isn't a good look either, so make sure you eat before you perform.
Don't leave or take a break
The minute you leave your seat the audience will leave. If you have an issue and need to do something, make the show shorter. Shorter shows do best, so a three-song event is more likely to maintain an audience than an hour performance.
If it is a music event, don't talk too much
People want to talk more after being in isolation so long, but if you've marketed your event as a music event, keep the talking to a minimum. Some artists can talk half the time and the audience tends to dwindle in the early minutes of the show.
Plan, test and practice your performance before going live to get the best results! See you streaming!