We are facing a new work from home reality where a growing number of companies are enabling their workforces to continue working remotely. Because of this, the rise of video conference calls in March 2020 has been unbelievable. According to meeting provider, Zoom, there is has been a 280% increase in video meetings globally. That’s huge!
We wrote this article for those of you that are new to video conference calls. These six tips will help you look your best while on camera with your colleagues.
1. Dress like you would in an in-person meeting or at the office.
This is very important, it can be hard to present well over web cam due to a number of factors including lighting, audio and most commonly poor internet connectivity. Make up for that by wearing clothes are aligned appropriately with your audience. Cameras can be sensitive to patterns and certain colors, so wear a solid-colored shirt, blouse or blazer.
2. Make sure you angle your web cam to create a framed shot of yourself
Along with personal appearance, the angle and direction your web cam is pointed is also key. Finding the right angle can be the difference from looking great on camera, and not.
Regardless of the camera type you are using, whether it be the built-in webcam on your laptop or 3rd party camera, make sure that the camera lens sits at or above eye level, no higher than your hairline and that you are centered in the shot. Make sure you position yourself far enough away to capture your shoulders and your entire face, leave enough room around you so you’re centered in the frame.
3. Use additional lighting to eliminate shadows and enhance presentation
It’s important to position your laptop or camera in a room with good lighting. Try to light your face from the front with soft light, sitting in front of the wind, with your face to it can be the best if there is daylight out. If it’s night positioning an adjustable area light will work. In general, avoid locations with low light or too much backlighting. For example having the camera face a wind can make the shot backlit and make your face appear as a shadow, which would be considered unprofessional while on a video conference.
4. Pay attention to what’s in the background of your web cam shot
Now that you have positioned yourself for your video conference call in front of good lighting and have framed the top part of your body in the shot, now look at what’s behind you. It’s important to consider that your audience will notice everything in the shot and judge your presence based on that. Keep the background simple, avoid anything that looks busy or cluttered and stay away from windows as they might reflect light off your your computer screen. We recommend choosing a plain wall as your backdrop.
5. Bring ‘on-camera presence’ and performance to your meeting
When you log into a video conference you are essentially walking in front of a camera or as those in the show business say, ‘on stage’ so presence is everything. That means, bring out your public speaking skills and that means eye contact. While attending the meeting, camera turned on, make sure you are engaged with the audience and others in the meeting.
Eye contact is everything when it comes to public speaking, and it’s no different when it comes to video. Spend most of your time looking at your webcam lens and make sure to carry a smile.
6. Make sure you have great audio quality and access to a decent microphone
Not only does looking good on camera matter, audio is also a big factor. When you can’t hear someone or audio keeps cutting out, that can take away from the entire meeting and its effectiveness.
The best results come from being as simple as possible with your audio setup and that typically means using the standard microphone that comes in most laptops. Along with a good microphone, make sure you take your video meetings in a quiet environment. Minimize other sounds in the room, turn off any appliances that may create excess white noise.