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    • #4191
      Laura Berlage

      Pick a friend you can trust and invite them to Zoom with you.  It doesn’t need to be long, and chats with folks we haven’t seen in a while can be fun.  You can even do this with one other person on a free Zoom account without needing anything more than you’ve been using to sign into class.

      Attend your private Zoom from your new teaching space, with your lighting and your setup.  Ask your friend what they think.  Make a few tweaks and see how they respond.  For instance, try the lights at full brightness, then dimmed slightly.  Try moving the lights around.  Try angling the camera in relation to the room.  Try seeing how much you can angle the camera before OOPS!, now they can see your gear stash that used to be off-frame.

      If the changes that need to be made aren’t accomplishable at that moment, take notes and circle back to them later.  If you need to move a whole bookshelf, do this when you can have helpers!

      Ask your friend to be honest, not just accommodating.   You are actively seeking to get better, and their feedback is important.  Help your friend help you by giving them some real options.  For instance, “I’m trying the lights this way, but here’s what it looks like when I move that one over here.  See?  Which one looks better on your end?”  Or perhaps they can help you understand if your background setup feels understated, loud, or just right for your style.

      How does this exercise help adjust your choices?  How does seeing yourself on Zoom help you see what changes to make?  Remember, the Zoom screen is a type of stage–what I call “the theater of Zoom”–so how you set up, pose, and light your stage really matters.  Please share your thoughts and questions to this regard.

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