Looking even more professional on Zoom will put you ahead of the pack when it comes to online meetings.
Video conferencing is now even more a part of our daily lives than ever before. As more and more companies begin to get into the habit of replacing expensive business trips with the convenience of a virtual call, we all need to start thinking about how we and our surroundings appear to the outside world.
Very few people are doing Zoom calls correctly at the moment, so here’s another opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Remember it’s a show and how you present yourself will affect your business and your reputation.
Here are six things to consider to look more professional on Zoom.
1. USE a tripod or a camera at eye level
We’ve all seen it by now, that one person in the Zoom call that looks as though they are sinking through the floor and cut off from the nose down. Or the person who insists you look up at them from the table and right up their nose. If you were meeting a client in real life would you ask them to lie down on the floor as you try to pitch them your services? No.
Make sure you are using a tripod for your mobile device positioned 1.5 meters away. This is the normal distance you would keep if you were talking to someone in real life. If you are not using a mobile device, make sure your webcam is high quality and at eye level.
Note: webcams are notoriously low quality and a modern mobile device is recommended where possible.
2. get YOURSELF A BETTER CAMERA
So, you’ve got your camera at eye level and a good distance away. Unfortunately, it is such low quality your meeting counterpart can’t make anything out. It is said that over 90% of communication is non-verbal, so allowing your guests to see you clearly is vital to getting your point across.
Most modern generation iPhones or Android devices will have a 12 mega pixel camera, which is more than suitable for a virtual meeting call. If your meeting area is desktop based, or you are planning to upgrade your meeting room, we have selected the following items for your consideration:
3. LET THERE BE LIGHT
Your camera is at eye level (and it’s a high-quality camera too!) but guess what? We can’t see anything! Lighting is one of the most overlooked parts of any media creation, and yet lighting is what brings amateur looking calls or content into the professional realm.
Make sure you’re not sitting with your back to a window or bright light source. It’s also important to make sure there is enough natural light in the room too. To give your Zoom calls a consistent look and feel regardless of time of day, consider investing in some easy to use lighting equipment for your space.
To begin with you can make simple adjustments to your set-up such as positioning a desk lamp behind your camera pointing towards you. For a more consistent spread of light on your face, there are multiple lighting options available from mobile attachments to LED panels.
4. LOOK THE PART
Now you’ve got your camera set up, your equipment is high quality and your lighting is perfect, it’s time to add the finishing touch – your personal presentation. Firstly, be sure to wear appropriate clothing for your call. This sounds obvious yet so many people log on to a virtual meeting in sweatpants and a t-shirt. If this is how you like to work from home that’s ok, but taking the time to change into something more professional for the duration of your call will go a long way to making a great impression.
If you feel self-conscious about any part of your appearance on camera, be sure to take care of this before the call if you can (such as hair, makeup, shine or shadows). This is down to the individual, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and look professional.
5. WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND?
Potential clients, colleagues and external partners are going to have to watch you on a video call for maybe an hour or more. Their eyes will wander, and they will start looking at what’s in the background of your screen. Be mindful of this and choose carefully when considering where your Zoom calls will take place. Make sure it’s in the same location each time and that that location has an appropriate background for your audience.
Pick somewhere that is well lit (as mentioned above), quiet, has neutral colours and is not too cluttered. Be kind to your audience and give them something to look at during the call such as a plant, picture, clock or bookshelf.
6. sound on
One of the most common problems people run into with Zoom calls is poor sound quality. How often have you spent the first few minutes of a meeting ironing out any audio related issues? Invest in a pair of discreet headphones such as AirPods or other wireless headphones, and the improvement in sound quality will be obvious.
Once your meeting partners can see you clearly, hear you clearly, enjoy viewing a well-lit and well-dressed space, you’re well on your way to standing out from the crowd. Take these few simple steps to bring your virtual meeting game to the next level.