Have you noticed when you see people connecting to video calls from home, they sometimes look at little different? Less professional?
Are you one of those people?
From distracting backgrounds to weird angles to “too casual” clothes, those online business meetings while working remotely can be embarrassing. The truth is most employees weren’t ready for the sudden transformation to telecommuting and the increased reliance on video conferencing.
But we’re now several weeks into the coronavirus pandemic, so there’s no excuse not to be putting your best foot forward on those calls.
Whether you use Zoom, Skype, or another service for your VoIP video calls, we’ve got several great online meeting tips below. It just takes a little knowhow to go from casual to professional for those online business meetings.
Look Awesome on Your Work Video Calls
Preparing yourself for a video call has similarities to preparing to film a movie. You want to check your lighting, background, wardrobe, and control the scene.
Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as much work! Once you get the video call setting just how you like it, it’s there and ready to go for any prescheduled or impromptu video calls.
Here are our Connect2Geek tips for professional looking video conferences while working remotely.
1. Pick One Spot and Stay There
The purpose of that morning company conference call isn’t to give everyone a tour of your home. Pick one spot where you’ll do your conference calls and stick to it. Otherwise, you can’t control important things like lighting and background.
The optimal spot will be a home office or area where you work. You want to be sure you have a background behind you that you can control (i.e. don’t set up in front of a high traffic area.)
2. Light Yourself from the Front
If there is a window or other lighting behind you, your face is going to appear dark in the webcam view. You want to light yourself from the front, so you don’t look like you’re sitting in a cave.
Soft, directional lighting is best if you have it. Natural light is even better. Both will help you avoid harsh shadows from too bright a light. Here are a few more video conference lighting tips.
3. Put the Webcam at Eye Level
If you’ve got a large iMac and you’re sitting too low beneath the camera, it can look like everyone is towering over you. Likewise, if you are positioned above the webcam on a laptop, the view can look a little jarring, especially if you’re sitting too close.
For a natural and professional look, you want to have the webcam at eye level.
4. Don’t Sit Too Close
If your entire face is filling up the webcam view, you’re too close! If you can see your entire body, including feet, then you’re too far.
Sit at a position that shows all of your head and some of your shoulders, plus some additional space above your head. You want to look like you’re sitting at a virtual conference table, not like you’re looking into a magnifying glass.
5. Keep Your Background Simple
If you’ve noticed all the commentators on TV calling in from home, you would think that it was mandatory to have a bookcase in your video call background.
While they can make professional looking backdrops, they’re not mandatory for a good-looking video background.
The key is that you want to keep it simple and uncluttered. Here are a few suggestions:
- A wall with some well-balanced art that’s not too distracting
- A plant and wall hanging or two
- A credenza with a few objects
Warning: Be careful about those virtual backgrounds that some video apps allow you to use. They’re often very distracting because they can pixelate, and they don’t tend to look very professional.
6. Dress for the Online Meeting
If you want to look professional on video camera, then you should get ready for a video call like you do when going into the office. That means grooming and attire that isn’t a t-shirt of your favorite band.
The benefit with a video call is that you can just wear a nice shirt or blouse, since that’s all that’s all that’s usually showing in the view. Just be careful about standing up if you’re wearing pajama pants!
7. Screentest Your Video Look with a Friend
Once you have your background, lighting, and cam position all set, you’re good to go for any upcoming meetings.
To get your video meeting look just right, test it out with a friend first so you can fine tune the details, like making sure something like a trashcan isn’t showing in the background.
Looking for Conferencing Solutions for Your Business?
For successful video calls, it’s important to have good cloud solutions. If you’re looking for integrated conferencing solutions, Connect2Geek can steer you in the right direction.
Schedule a free consultation today! Call 208-468-4323 or reach out online.