Skype Video Recording
Best Practices

The Essentials

What to do prior to your Skype Recording:

Find a quiet place and close the door. Put a sign on your door that indicates you should not be disturbed. Make sure you do this at the time of the recording as well.

Test Skype Audio and Video communication at least one day prior to your recording.
Test your audio setup by calling the “Skype test call”. Check to see how you look by using Skype Video settings.

On the day of your Recording:

If you are a guest calling in via Skype Video you will have a 10 minute Skype connection check before the recording will start.

Change your privacy settings in Skype. For the purposes of your call during the recording, please go into "Privacy" settings and allow calls, chats, and video from anyone and show you're online. After the recording, you can revert these settings to be whatever you like.

Although we are not governed by the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), we like to keep our recordings professional and family friendly so even kids can watch. Please be mindful of your language and topics.

During your interview act natural. Avoid smiling all the time or remaining in the same position or with the same facial expressions. Use small gestures.

What you need:

1. Skype installed on your computer.

Skype is available on Windows, Mac OSX and mobile platforms. Make sure you have the latest version. You can download it for free at

2. Internet access recommendations:

Make sure that you have a stable Internet connection with the following recommended speeds:

  • Download Speed equal or higher then 5 Mbps.
  • Upload Speed equal or higher then 1 Mbps.
Test your connection speed at

Connect your Skype enabled computer to the Internet via Ethernet connection (wire) rather than Wi-Fi (wireless). This will ensure a better audio and video connection. You will sound and look better.

If you are using your home network, ask others on your network to limit their activity during your recording as their usage will affect your bandwidth and quality of the video and audio.

3. Audio recommendations:

PLEASE DO NOT use a Bluetooth headset or the built-in laptop microphone as they produce a terrible sound when recording. We also recommend that you do not use the new iPhone headphones with microphone as they also do not produce a good sound for recording.

We strongly recommend using as a minimum a USB headset for your recording. If you already own a USB headset, test it prior to your recording to see if you are satisfied with the sound quality. If you are not satisfied with the sound quality you should find a better alternative. A possible alternative is
Plantronics Audio 655 headset.

Although professional audio equipment is not required, we recommend that you use the best microphone you have access to and that the microphone volume level is set appropriately both in your computer and within Skype. Skype has its own internal setting for audio input. For more details about setting up the audio on your specific operating system check
Skype Support.

For a better audio quality you can use a dynamic microphone and a closed-back headphone. A dynamic microphone has a better ambient noise-rejection but requires you to speak from a close distance and keep the distance between yourself and the microphone as constant as possible.
We recommend the following dynamic microphones:
If you are going to use a dynamic microphone you should use a microphone stand as opposed to holding the microphone in your hand. We recommend the On-Stage DS7425 Tripod Desktop Stand as a good cost effective choice.

Headphones should be a closed-back (or sealed) design in order to avoid sound from the headphone leaking out and being picked up by the microphone. Make sure the headphone is comfortable enough to wear during the recording. You do not want to play with it during recording as it will create unwanted noise which will be picked up by the microphone. We recommend the following headphones:
Make sure the USB headset / microphone is plugged directly into the computer USB ports, not through a hub.

4. Video Camera Recommendations:

Position your video camera at eye level so that you'll be looking into it most of the time when speaking. Do not look sideways. Frame the image well. Usually the best way is to have your head almost touching the top of the frame. Your head should be in the top three-fifths of the frame and your chest in the bottom two-fifths. This will allow enough space to put your name in the "lower third" of the screen.

For new computers there is a good chance that your built-in webcam will be sufficient. You can also use an external webcam. We recommend the
Logitec HD Webcam C615. Make sure the camera you have is compatible with your system as some are operating system specific.

Make sure the USB External Webcam is plugged directly into the computer USB ports, not through a hub.

5. Lighting Recommendations:

Digital video cameras require light. In order for the video camera to function properly you will need to provide a stronger light in your face that you do at your back. You do not want to be backlit. Make sure you have at least two strong lights pointing right at your face. Although this may feel very bright it will provide you with the best visual. Test your camera with the light system you have in order to make sure that it works well.

If you want to invest in a lighting system you can use a system such as the
Lowel Pro-light Two-Light Kit or something similar. As many light kits do not include the light bulbs make sure you order them as well.

Things to Consider when being recorded:


The background serves to complement you. Your face needs to be the brightest largest object on the screen. Decide what effect you're trying to achieve. Is it a dramatic interview or something more casual? If drama is what you want, keep your background dark. Use brighter backgrounds for casual interviews. Simple is better. Black, neutral grey, brown or royal blue is a good colour choice for backgrounds. If your skin tone is darker then a lighter background may work better as it will provide a better contrast with the face.

Avoid backgrounds that:
  • are solid colours in red, white, and tan.
  • have fine details such as bookshelves, fancy wallpaper, Venetian blinds, and the like.
  • give backlighting such as windows, doors, other powerful light sources
  • have motion such as waving trees, people walking, etc


Wear clothes that are comfortable. If you're uncomfortable, it will show up in your face and body language.

A solid clothing pattern is recommended. Blue, grey and brown are safe colours to wear. Reds and oranges have a tendency to glow on camera and are not recommended. Regardless of the colour you wear, make sure that it contrasts with your background. The idea is to draw an edge that will help you stand out. Don't erase your edge with clothing that is too soft or unstructured. A shirt with a collar looks better than a t-shirt. For men, a safe combination is wearing a jacket and tie with a light blue shirt. We recommend you avoid wearing white since it creates too much contrast with black or dark blue jackets.

Avoid thin stripes, herringbone, corduroy or checkered patterns, ruffles or loose clothing.

Also avoid high-contrast clothing. Video cameras cannot handle high contrasts between bright and dark objects. Be aware of the contrast between your skin tone and clothes. For example darker skin tones should avoid wearing white or very light colours. Extremely light skin tones should avoid black or very dark clothing.


If you wear eyeglasses try to avoid shiny frames.
Tip the bows of your eyeglasses up slightly off your ears. This angles the lenses down to reduce glare from lights.


Video cameras needs light to make a good picture. Light reflects off shiny objects. Jewellery may contain shiny objects. As such, you should be very careful about the type and amount of jewelry you wear during the recording. Avoid wearing anything large and sparkling. This includes large rings, bracelets, dangling earrings, necklaces and pins. Simple and tasteful are two key words in video. Pearls and small neck chains with cameos or coloured stones look best.

Beware of jewelry that can make noise. The slight rattling or jangling noise that you may not be normally aware of, can be magnified by the microphone during the recording. Be particularly cautious of a necklace that might touch the microphone. It is recommended that you do not wear bracelets which tend to create distracting noises from individuals who gesture with their hands.

In general, minimize jewelry for video recording.


Men can use a light base coat a shade darker than normal skin colour to even out skin tone and reduce the shine on cheeks, forehead and nose. A good shave before recording is recommended.

For women, normal street makeup is fine. Women may want to avoid dark reds and maroon-coloured eye shadows, lip gloss and rouge because the camera has a tendency to accentuate the blues in these colours. This will in turn make these areas of your face darker and overly emphasized.


Make sure your hair will stay in place where you want it. You do not want to be touching or playing with your hair during your recording as you may create unwanted noise which will be picked up by the microphone.