Biggest pet peeve when sitting on video calls?

Rachel Cossar
23 replies
It's been a minute since we all hopped onto video conferencing so we could remember what our co-workers looked like. You'd think we'd all be experts at communicating over video by now, but turns out...we aren't. Curious to hear what feels like nails on a chalkboard when you're on a video call?
Bad lighting (person is backlit/has terribly uneven lighting on their face)
Poor framing (looking up their nose, too close to the screen)
Eye gaze issues...(looking fully away at another screen, staring at the lower corner while talking...)
Lack of active listening cues (zero head or facial expression movements)

Replies

Aurelian Spodarec
Building my first Saas this year :)
Well, for me personally is poor speaking. I can write, but I can't speak that well. That means pronouncing words, tonality etc... You can say I kinda have speech impairment. So as soon as I start talking, my value probably decreases in the eyes of the prospect and don't take me as seriously compared to my writing. I might be wrong, but that's what I notice. In terms of the other person, its audio. Funny enough you said video, but that's the least important aspect when you can't hear the person properly.
Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@aurelianspodarec I hear you:) Thanks for sharing - do you prefer to do calls as phone/audio only? Or including video? At Virtual Sapiens, we are working on the audio quality and vocal cues as well, the reason I started with visual is because people often forget they can be seen even if they are on camera - I am always curious to see which visual communication cues get to people.
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Aurelian Spodarec
Building my first Saas this year :)
@rachelonpointe Well, depends. I think having a video call is better for the first meeting with the prospect, later it doesn't matter as much. Because of the body language, and such, I'd say video is better. However, said that, I might look bit awkward myself soo. I need to work on myself generally speaking when it comes to communication/interaction. Otherwise, for me it would be full on call with video no question asked ^^ I'll get to that point eventually.
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Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@aurelianspodarec You will totally get there:) I am glad you see the power in connecting over video - for those who work on the new skills needed to show up with comfort and confidence, the impact is HUGE! Keep an eye out for our Sidekick launch on Product Hunt, we have a free trial so you can test it out and see if the nudges on things like eye contact, posture and facial expressions can help you feel more confident on video over the long term.
Reuben Carter
Co Founder of Grapevine
Bad audio kills the conversation for me! Also seeing my own face all the time makes me feel uncomfortable.
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Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@reuben_carter Very true- research shows that while people will be more lenient with poor video quality, poor audio quality will end a call. Depending on which video platform you use, you can turn off or hide your own self-view. That is my number one biggest hack! Otherwise I spend the entire call checking myself out... We are building a tool that will give you a nudge if you go out of frame or aren't paying attention so you don't have to worry about looking at yourself !
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Dawn Veltri
@reuben_carter @rachelonpointe I also think seeing myself is distracting. I do so much better when I can hide myself. The eye gaze issue also really bothers me. It bothers me when people are looking at another screen.
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Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@reuben_carter @dawn_veltri1 Yep. When people look at other screens (even if they have the video group's faces on the other screen), it can often leave you wondering if they are paying attention at all...
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Jessie
On earth to contribute and create value.
@reuben_carter @dawn_veltri1 @rachelonpointe @reuben_carter indeed!! Agreeing on all your points! Also when the video freeze is another one :)
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Maxwell Davis
TweetStores - Launching 5th March πŸš€
I put bad lighting but the biggest for me are distractions - noise and visual.
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Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@maxwellcdavis Thank you for sharing. Hopefully noise cancellation will get better and better. I know many video platforms are already on it, so are other companies like Krisp. Visual distractions like erratic movements?
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Maxwell Davis
TweetStores - Launching 5th March πŸš€
@rachelonpointe - Virtual Backgrounds, people walking around, cars, etc.....
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Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@maxwellcdavis 100%. Virtual backgrounds are the worst...I should have added that as one of the pet peeves!!!
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Alina Ihnatiuk
Social Media Marketing πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ - πŸ‡΅πŸ‡± - πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί - πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Bad sound or background noise, picture quality, internet instability are the main irritants
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Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@antonovna Thanks for sharing Alina - sound quality and reducing impact on bandwidth are some of video platforms top focuses these days. As a user, there is not much you ca do about those...picture quality though - is often all about lighting balance, which is fixable and often without much of a budget!
Ira GI
Technology girl, software development
I often run into the problem of lighting.
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Jessie
On earth to contribute and create value.
@ira_gi I feel you! The location is everything for instance if a window is in front or behind you makes a difference. It would be cool if they can adjust the lighting on auto... For instance, I had a meeting around 3:30pm and we were still on at 5pm... I was going dark because there was no more light outside and I didn't think to open my lamp because it was so bright before.... It's those little details that matters a bunch.
Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@ira_gi Yes - very common. Lighting balance: making sure you have even sources of lighting on your image and ensuring the concentration of light is focused on your image, and not behind you are all very important when it comes to good lighting. It usually takes a bit of fiddling around to get it just right. And when you get it just right - it makes a HUGE difference.
Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@ira_gi @jessie_m Totally Jessie! I advise people, as much as possible, to have external sources of light (like ring lights) instead of depending on windows. Window/natural light can be so pleasant, but as the lighting changes (especially when it changes early in winter time), all of a sudden you are in darkness! I know some video platforms are working on image quality and lighting. We are working on a pre-call check tool that will help users ensure their lighting is properly exposed and even before they enter a call:)
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Jessie
On earth to contribute and create value.
@ira_gi @rachelonpointe Nice Very cool, looking forward to checking it out and thanks for the tip!
Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@ira_gi @jessie_m My pleasure:)
Deepa from PLG Works
Thursday 2.0 launching today πŸš€
I do prefer video calls when discussing or brainstorming so that I know when a person is taking a pause or I see their first reactions. Assuming that you are on a video call, your audio and video should work well, bad lighting bothers me. If I can't see the other person's face, there is no meaning in doing a video call.
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Rachel Cossar
Virtual Sapiens | Virtual Presence
@shahdeepa 100% I couldn't agree more. There is a lot of richness and human connection that is possible with video that you miss out on entirely via audio-only. And I agree, lighting is one of the worst offenders - poor lighting quality sends a poor first impression and can be completely distracting throughout an otherwise good call.