Poor Zoom Lighting and Audio is Hurting Your Personal Image

Millions of people have had to work and study from home owing to the neo coronavirus disaster. Resultantly, Zoom video conferencing has become an integral part of this new normal. Founded in 2011, Zoom has become a major platform for communication and interaction with our friends, family, bosses, co-workers, learners, and teachers. Suffice to say, zoom participants should ensure that they look and sound as good as possible with explicit videos and great audios.

Zoom has made virtual meetings almost feel like face to face meetings. However, this has not gone without some challenges. For instance, there is always that one person with terrible lighting, a bizarre, off-putting background, and poor audio quality in every zoom meeting. Well, this does not have to be you. Here are a few tips to help you look, sound, and feel great in your next Zoom meeting.


Regardless of your camera quality, proper zoom lighting can make you look and feel better. No, you do not have to break the bank for a studio-quality set up. All you need is to ensure that you have the right lighting sources in the proper positions. You have probably seen many zoom participants who are extraordinarily dark or completely washed out in striking light. It does not have to be this way. The following three-point lighting setup will help you look your best at your Zoom meetings.

Key Light

It is the basic light that illuminates your face. In this case, any lamp with a light bulb would be a good choice as long as it does not shine on your face directly. Alternatively, you can purchase a ring light that goes for $20 on Amazon or use your regular house lamp. All you need to do is shine the lamp on the wall behind your laptop screen to allow light diffusion before it hits your face. It would be better if you position your key light at a 45-degree angle to your camera. It is an excellent way of creating shadows on your face, thereby generating the required depth. Ensure that you position your camera at the eye level or upper to help you maintain eye-contact with your viewers and make a connection with them.

Fill Light

When you position your key light at a 45-degree angle to your camera, the dark side of your face could be too shadowy. As such, the fill light can be effective in lightly filling in some of the dark shadows to avoid losing all the detail. With the key and the fill light, you will outshine most of your teammates with high-quality videos.

Back Light

The backlight primarily serves to separate you from your background. While you can choose to use an LED panel of light for this purpose, it is possible to achieve the same results with an ordinary lamp or light from the window. The good thing with LED light sources is that they come at cheaper prices, are easily portable, and have rechargeable batteries for extended use.

Sound and Audio Quality

Besides a quality-video and great content, good sound quality is equally important. It is true that your audience can sit through a low-quality video with excellent sound compared to a great quality video with poor audio. As such, going out of your way to enhancing your sound output should only come naturally. You should invest in a quality external microphone for starters, which does not have to cost you a fortune. At only $120 or less, you can land a great podcast microphone, which will provide better audio quality than the built-in microphone.

With a little pocket power, you can have a microphone with a supporting stand and several different cables at $100. The cables can be connected through your computer’s USB port or other sound interfaces. There is a wide range of brands and options to choose from based on your needs, preferences, and budget.

You must try to minimize background noises as much as possible, especially when you are in session. Always look for a calm place where you can hold your meetings with fewer commotions and distractions if you don’t have a home office. Also, remember to mute yourself when it’s not your turn to speak.

Meaningful communication is your ultimate goal during Zoom video conferencing. As such, you should put extra effort into your video and audio quality to attract the attention you need. Poor zoom video and audio quality will not only lose your viewers but also hurt your personal and professional image, resultantly lowering your confidence, effectiveness, and productivity.