Video Calls…You’re Doing it Wrong

With everything going to digital and everything on a video conference call, are you presenting the best version of yourself? I’m going to take a deep dive on how to improve your video calls and it’s a lot of things we all forget to do.

In this edition of LiveTime with Alec

  • Do you have everything you need to show up to a video call.
  • There a few simple things you need to up your video call game.
  • Video calls are now a game of respect.
  • You may have all the authority in a subject but you may be losing that with how you show up to a video call.

Episode Transcribe

– Hey, what’s going on, everybody. Welcome to another LiveTime with Alec. Let’s get a little music going. I am super excited to be with you guys today, because we’re gonna talk about video conference calls, and why you’re terrible at them. Listen, there’s a solid truth going out there right now. We are buried in video conference calls. By the way, if you’re joining us right now, thank you so much, I love it. We are live on Instagram, we are live on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Thanks for hanging out with me today. Please drop a comment. I’d like to hear where you’re from, where you’re hanging out with me today Cause we were talking about video calls, and I know you’re sick of them. You’re sick of them, I’m sick of them. They’re terrible. But man, are they part of our life now? Aren’t they? By the way, I got the new mic. I’m geeking out my little garage. Things are looking good. I almost tried to green-screen everything today, but I didn’t do it. But so, if you’re watching right now, throw me a comment. Let me know where you’re watching from. Thanks for hanging out with me today, and I’m gonna help you out today. Super like tactical day today. We’re literally talk about how to crush it on video calls. But I have to start with a little bit of a rant, a little bit of a rant. The first part of the rant is, are you sick of people on video calls Just not showing up? Here’s what I mean. Would you ever go to a meeting, and as the meeting starts you walk in on time, thank good Start there. But you’re like in your sweat pants and a hoodie. No, no, no of course not. Like when you go to a meeting, any meeting, you show up in like your professional business attire, whatever that means t-shirts are fine, blah, blah, blah. But you show up like ready for the meeting. You’ve got a pen and paper, you sit down, and yet on a zoom call when your colleagues are there, your boss is there, your boss’s boss, whoever else, you’re on the zoom call. You don’t even turn the camera on. Are you kidding me? Are you out of your freaking mind? This is a game of respect and your not playing it. Like it’s the same thing. I think about it in person meeting. Like, would you ever show up and like just stare off into the distance and be like working on stuff no, you’re gonna be staring at your boss or at your colleagues or your teammates. And you’re gonna be actually showing up, like you’re gonna be paying, attention and yet you think it’s okay in a zoom call. You think it’s okay in a video call to be multitasking while somebody is talking. Guys, this is about respect, pure and simple. And yes, is it a new skill? Yeah, but if you’re not playing the game and you’re not showing up. Do you see the message you’re sending? Do you see the message you’re sending on these calls when you show up and you’re just not even paying attention. your camera’s off, no one knows you’re there. You’re blowing it and by the way, if you’re in leadership and you jump on these zoom calls and your camera’s off, or you’re not paying attention, or you’re staring off into the distance or you’re emailing, you’re blowing it. You’re showing everyone on that call, that you don’t respect them. Now I know it’s a little harsh, I know. I’m not trying to like come at ya. I hope I’m not like, I know that’s making people feel like I’m aggressively attacking you, but I’m just telling you the truth. and like no one’s talking about it. So we have to talk about it cause no one’s talking about it. And we’re on zoom calls, video calls all day long. And yet I don’t think people are thinking about how they’re showing up. So, let me go through it again. By the way, if you’re watching this in the future, please hit me up with a hashtag bypass in the comments. I love it. I get a little notification that somebody is watching this later and I’m like, yes. Cause I fully understand and believe that just because I’m going live right now at 9:30 you’re not stopping your entire day to listen. And that’s totally acceptable cause you have busy, you have stuff going on, but this message is important, and someone needs to hear this. Don’t just tag them cause that’s awkward. But listen, you have to reframe a video call. It is like a meeting. It’s like a face to face meeting. If you don’t show up to play, you’re showing disrespect to everybody on the call. That’s just pure and simple to your teammates, to your colleagues, to everybody else. You’re being disrespectful. You’re saying to them, you don’t matter enough to me to turn my camera on and be paying attention. Now I get it, We’re at home. So like maybe you are in sweat pants. Maybe you didn’t do your hair, maybe you’re like its Whatever. I understand. I’m giving grace to that, but I’m also recognizing the message you’re sending is that I don’t matter enough for you to turn the camera on. Now let’s talk about respect. I’m gonna frame this up through my eyes as a man. And so just go with me on this. Cause that’s all I got. but like, you didn’t know in the beginning what it was to be professional. You had to be taught. someone, a mentor, a father figure. Somebody had to be like, “Hey son, this is how you tie a tie, “This is the suit you wear, “when you go to a meeting that’s important, This is how you show up. It’s how you pay attention. You learn it through school, you learn it to all this stuff. And yet now the new normal is this video medium, and you’re showing up poorly. And so somebody is not telling you what to do. So, let’s say you’re hearing me on this. And you’re like, yeah, you’re right. By the way, this is a sad truth. When you show up on video calls like I’m describing, where your camera’s off or you’re disconnected, or God forbid, the camera’s on but you just haven’t learned the basics of video yet, which I’m gonna get into in a minute. Then you’re slowly losing your authority. You’re slowly losing the respect of the people around you. If you refuse to understand this medium and show up appropriately in it. Sorry, I’m just making someone feeling like really cringey. I’m like cringey myself. What’s up Kyle? 0h dude, good to see you my man. So Kyle understands like this is the medium we hang out in. And if you refuse to show up in the right ways, all you’re sending is a message of, you’re not that important. I’m not going to show up for you. Now, lemme help you. Lemme break it down. So first things first. Check this out, new technology, blah, blah, blah. This is a camera. It’s a webcam. Please for the love of the Lord buy this. It’s like $50. If you can’t afford it ice, I’ll buy it for you. I’m serious. And then, this is very important. This is a very important thing. I pulled this thing off a stock photo. So this is not actual person. This well is a person, but it’s a stock photo. Its not really somebody. This is 99% of you on your zoom calls. Do you see the angle where the camera at? You see where the laptop is? Oh my God, this person is look, I’m wanna show you right now. We’re doing it. I’m grabbing my camera. Bro, You’re right here. Stop this! Stop it!- And then you look at your screen, And so you’re like, Oh yeah, yeah, no totally.- This is a horrible angle. Like nobody likes that angle. Why would you intentionally put yourself at that angle? Like, don’t do that. So, that’s this guy. Like he’s totally doing that on the call. He’s like, hello, oh. Stop, oh my god am losing respect for you immediately. Now, that’s the first time, but like the 70th time. I’m like, bro, please figure this out. Has no one telling you, is no one telling you? is that’s what’s happening? No one’s telling you. like that’s the kill shot, bro.- Like it’s so bad.- Like stop it, Stop it! So this is like me helping you tie your tie. Okay little Timmy? Camera, angle, eye level or little above, all right? W`hen it’s down here, look, I’m wanna do it again cause you’re not hearing me. This am talking down to you, I’m coming at you. I’m like I’m disciplining you. This is terrible. Don’t talk down to your audience, don’t talk down to your employees, your friends, your mentor, your bosses. Don’t talk down to them. Eye level or slightly above. I messed up my camera. I’m sorry, but I did it for you. Next thing crucially important. Once you get the camera down, you’re there. Now you’re showing your respect on a zoom call, like you actually give a damn about this meeting we’re having cause you put a camera on your face and I get to see you. And now I’m there, next. Oh, you don’t need to have this. I love this cause I’m in dork and this is fun for me. But you need to have this. Okay, it’s a hundred dollars. It’s that important buy it. It plugs with a USB into your computer. And then when you talk, you get that silky smooth, the real voice. You get to hear what’s going on. Do you understand? By the way, if you want me to hear you on that call, put a microphone in your mouth. If you’re using the computer mic again, if it’s your first time, you have grace. You don’t know how to tie a tie yet. I’m with you dude. Now, now though, like how long have we been a stay at home? Like now, like oh please just figure this out. Like this buy it, buy it immediately and plug it in. Don’t even think, buy it right now. It’s a Yeti blue mic, buy it. I mean, you have respect for yourself, Like you wanna show up in a big way. You want people to know that they matter. Just buy it. It is about giving a damn to the people that you’re talking to. Oh my gosh, I’m just losing my mind today. Yeah, dude, I’ve lost it for sure. I know this topic was coming and I’ve been like, just burning on the inside like yes. Next, this one, oh my gosh! Lighting. You got the camera angle right, You’re in. you got the microphone in your mouth so I can hear you. Oh, thank you. Now please turn on a fricking light so I can see your beautiful face. Look, I’m turning off my lights. This sucks. My camera actually adjusted. Look at the difference, Look, watch. Hello? No light. Oh, like, do I have to say anymore? By the way, this is the truth. This is another shot I just pulled I took it off the internet, So you can’t get mad at me. It’s just a person on the internet I Googled like, don’t put a window behind you. Like you can’t see the face. Why would you do this? And if you have windows like I do back there on the side, and like I have these doors to the side. Like I have to light my face these ways. Please get up, get a light and put it on your face. Guys I know this is stupid. Paul thank you dude. I know like, why are you talking about this? Cause we live in a video medium now. Like this is our space together, hello, we’re here. And so you need to show up cause it’s showing respect. and there was grace in the beginning, but it’s losing it’s. Here’s what I’m sad about, and why I’m so fired up on the stupid topic about like lighting and all this stuff. Here’s what I’m sad about. I’m sad that there are great people who are getting into this zoom calls and getting into these meetings and they’re, showing up unprofessionally. They’re losing their authority. Their people are discrediting them instantly because they got the camera up their nose and there’s no light. And there’s a window in the background and they have no mic. It’s like all the things are bad. And so they’re trying to like share something, and maybe their knowledge is right on. Maybe their contribution to the meeting is perfect. You can’t hear them, you can’t see them. And all of a sudden I was like, Oh, that’s just that guy fish. Just put him on mute. You’re losing your chance to play the game . by the way so let’s dive, Let’s go. So after lighting guys, don’t do this. Don’t be this guy, by the way. I hope this isn’t somebody like. there’s no chance this is actually somebody who would be watching this. I Googled like window behind a guy on a call. And this is, But there’s so many of you on zoom. Like this is you on zoom calls, stop it. Next thing, please. If this is your background, change it. I just Googled it, so you can’t get mad at me, But like dude, this is what I see in the background. Yeah dude, by the way, Chris guarantee, I know I’m a jerk, but this is people. I’m watching you and I can see what’s behind you. Do you know that on zoom calls I can see there, the things behind you? like click don’t distract from you, with the garbage behind you. Like the piles of stuff. Like please just clean up a little bit. That’s my point guys. This space videos is kind of the thing now. We’re here, and we’re not going the other way. See all the companies that are full ongoing virtual forever? Like this is not gonna go backwards. So maybe this is the video where you’re like oh crap, I’m learning to tie my tie. But this is in crucially important stuff because you matter. And on these calls in these experiences, you’re getting blown up by people’s perception. They’re just like it’s dog. People are hating on you because you’re disrespecting the space. You feel me on that, you are disrespecting the space. I love virtual backgrounds. I think they’re hilarious. I have virtual background myself. My favorite thing to do is get on a zoom call where I’ve recorded myself. I thought this is such a pro hack. So thank you, Michael for bringing this up. Please do this. Open up a zoom call. Just you, you’re you’re the only one in there, that’s it. Hit record, and then sit there kind of like, talking like typing or looking at the screen and being like, can you hear me? And then end the recording and then upload that as a zoom background. Next time you get on zoom, just start that video, get off camera, and people would just talk to your video for awhile and then you can like poke your head in and be like, ah! It’s my favorite thing to do. I love virtual backgrounds, but there’s fun in them and goofiness and that’s acceptable. And then it’s like, well this is a professional meeting, so I need to show up professionally. So yeah, I mean there’s great virtual backgrounds that you can do that show off your professionalism. Absolutely please do them. I don’t have a personal problem with them. I think they’re fun and funny and they add an element to the game but just recognize what you’re doing with them. And if you’re being disrespectful with them, then stop that and do like a professional one. But they’re awesome. So I’m wanna hit this again my friends, my friends, my friends, my friends. You gotta pay attention to this. This is the new medium, we are here. We are in the video space. You’ve gotta show up in a big way on video, where you’re showing disrespect to the people on the call with you, period. Like you would never come to a meeting in sweat pants, and just like folded in. No, you’re gonna come to a meeting, you’re gonna show up professionally. You’re gonna get dressed. This is the same medium now, show respect. There’s no excuse anymore. There’s no excuse, you gotta do it. All right, so number one. Number one, my friends, this thing, this, buy it immediately. This is all you need, a Logitech 1080 P. Buy it. 50, 60 bucks. You cannot not have this. You can not not have this because you’re this guy all of a sudden, I just pulled this guy off the internet So you can’t come out at me. You’re this guy on a call, where the camera’s up your nose. And you’re just like, huh, what, yeah, no, I think we should do this. It’s garbage, it’s terrible. I’m helping you. I know it’s tough love, but I’m helping you please for the love of God. Eye level or above, don’t talk down to people man. Don’t just stare down at people. Eye level or above, please video calls, show respect. Second thing, microphone in your mouth right here. You matter, I wanna hear what you have to say. I’m watching professionals on zoom calls and I’m losing all of my respect for them because I can’t hear them. Do you see how important this is? This is so important. You plug this in with a USB port. It just beep and then you have beautiful, beautiful sound. You don’t need this. I love this, but you don’t need this. Next thing. Light on your face. On your face! I show up for the meeting, I wanna see you. Don’t be this guy. Don’t put a window behind you. If there’s a window behind you, you’re gonna have to extra light your face. Just don’t do it. And don’t let this be your background please, please, please, please. My friends, it’s time. You’ve had enough to figure it out. You’ve had enough time to get the back-ordered camera. Now you’re just being lazy. Like just show up. I wanna hang out with you on these video calls. Please come hang out. All right, that’s all I got for you guys today. Super appreciate you guys hanging out on like the rant of the day. Rant time with Alec because seriously I just, it matters my friends, it matters. It’s a game of respect and it matters. Appreciate you all. Men next week, dude I’m wanna bring the noise next week. We’re gonna talk about some, hold on. I’m just gonna show you right now. Dude, this is gonna blow your mind. You don’t have to hang out anymore if you don’t want to, but this is gonna be fun. I’m not gonna actually get into it, but check this out. Bang, there it is dude. This is next week. Next Tuesday. You’re not gonna wanna miss this. We’re gonna go deep on all this stuff. I’m gonna teach you how all the stuff I do. It’s gonna help. I appreciate you guys. Having a wonderful day. Kick some butt. Turn the light on, turn the camera on. Put the mic in your mouth, and I’ll see you guys on the internet. Take care.