Lately, it seems everything we do somehow involves a video call. Work conferences, workouts, and happy hours have all moved from in-person to virtual due to the COVID-19 crisis. As the computer is now the main way we are interacting with the world, people are more concerned than ever about how they look on camera. Here are some tips to help show yourself in the best light (literally).
Dress to Impress
Work clothes probably aren’t required at the moment, but you can still look pulled together and professional by wearing a nice outfit for your video call. From cozy women’s loungewear to poplin summer dresses, you can be comfortable without looking like a couch potato. Here are the do’s and don’ts when getting dressed.
- Wear a solid color, except for red
- Wear a nice scarf as an accessory
- Wear a neutral base like black leggings in case your legs show on screen
- Wear a white shirt that is see-through
- Wear stripes or large patterns
- Wear distracting jewelry
Choose a Minimal Background
The next thing you should think about is where you want to have your video call. You should give some thought to what the background is where you are making the call and move if necessary. Ideally, your background should be a light, neutral wall without too many objects cluttering the space. A few books or a plant is fine, but keep it at a minimum. This is not the time to show off your collection of antiques or piles of unwashed laundry.
On that note, make sure you are in a space where you will not be interrupted. Dogs barking, children playing, and roommates coming in to ask you a question in the middle of a work meeting is not ideal. You can put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door if necessary!
Perfect the Lighting & Angles
Lights, camera, action! When you are on camera, you’ll look best in natural light if it is available. Try to face a window if possible to let the light shine on you. Do not sit with the window behind you as this will create a silhouette. If no window is available, you can use a lamp or other light source in the same manner. Avoid fluorescent if at all possible. Adjust the brightness if you can once you have the camera on and can see what it looks like.
When it comes to angles, you want the camera on your computer to be about at eye-level. You can use books or a stand to prop it up. This will be much more flattering than if you had to look down at the camera. Look straightforward, not to one side or the other.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Before you go live, check the video app you are using to make sure that it is working properly and that you know how to log in. You should also check your internet connection; if it has been having problems, make sure they are fixed before your call so that it does not drop. Place everything you need near you, from your notes to a glass of water so that you do not have to get up.
Finally, don’t stress and act natural as if it were a regular face-to-face meeting. Make eye contact with the person speaking. Don’t hesitate to ask questions even though it may seem weird to speak up. Once you have done a few sessions, you will get the hang of it!