Because so many of us are working from home for the time being and on daily video conferences, it’s important to treat every meeting as you would if you were participating in person. That means looking and feeling your best on camera.
Here are six things you can do to look great on your next Zoom meeting from Inc. magazine.
- Lighting: There probably is no more important aspect to looking good on camera than lighting. One of the biggest mistakes people make is sitting in front of a bright window, which has the effect of causing the camera to underexpose and create a dark silhouette. If you need a little help with your lighting, there are plenty of tools designed just for video meetings which attach to your display or laptop and gives plenty of light to help you look your best.
- Background: Of course, bright light behind you isn’t the only background issue you should pay attention to. If you have video meetings on a regular basis (like I do), it’s worth having a dedicated space, so you can be intentional about what people see behind you. Of course, not everyone has that luxury. The good news is that if you use a tool like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, you can set a custom background that hides everything behind you.
- Positioning: Place your camera at a height that it can be angled just slightly down at you. Point the camera at your hairline and down at your eyes for the most flattering angle. Don’t get too close to the camera, or you can end up with a distorted face. Make sure that your camera isn’t set to a wide angle, since that has the same effect.
- Camera: The camera built into your laptop is pretty much junk. That 720p camera was top-of-the-line back in 2010. Invest in something higher quality, especially if you spend a lot of time on camera. Try the Logitech 4K Pro Webcam (currently sold out online), which sits right atop your external display and can be adjusted.
- Headphones: While it’s not technically about how you look, how you sound is almost as important. A microphone or good pair of headphones can make a big difference, especially when it comes to reducing background noise. I like the Apple AirPods Pro, but even a simple pair of wired ear buds will give you better sound than the built-in microphone in your laptop.
- Touch up your appearance: This feels like a good time to remind you that Zoom actually has a feature built in specifically for the purpose of making you look better. In the Zoom desktop app, there’s a “touch up my appearance” option that applies some skin smoothing. It’s not perfect, but I know plenty of people who like the fact that it covers up blemishes and gives them a little more of a “ready for primetime” look.