Are you new to video calling, or maybe just doing it more often than normal? Right now many people are forced to communicate via video calls on Zoom, Skype, Facetime and other platforms. Whaever you choose, here are some tips to help you look, and feel, professional.
Think about your background
Prior to the start of your call, take a look at your surroundings and choose the best background. If it’s a personal call, anything goes. However, for business calls, you’ll want to convey that in your setting. Ensure that the area behind you is clear of clutter and distractions like other people or a tv that is turned on.
Set the right lighting
To look your best on your video call, lighting is crucial. You want to make sure that your image is crisp and clear. If you sit in front of a window, during the day, chances are, it will be very difficult to see you properly. You want the light to be in front of you, shining on your face rather than coming from behind. Being seen is an essential part of a video call, so make sure the image is crisp and clear.
Double check your internet connection
Nothing is more frustrating than losing the connection part way through a video call. This often happens because the connection was wireless and the signal wasn’t that strong, so take that into consideration when choosing your location. For important calls you may want to consider connecting your computer or laptop through an ethernet cable. The cable will give you more stability. If you don’t have an option and a wireless connection is all you have, try not to use other things online while on your call, such as downloads, uploads, Netflix, etc.
Using the built-in speakers and microphone can lead to feedback on the call. If this is an issue, just put on headphones. You will appear professional and prepared.
The angle of your camera can completely change the way you look online. It is best to use an external webcam because it gives you more control over the position and angle. If you are using a built-in camera, take the time to trial different angles and find the one that looks best. You want to capture your face and part of your upper body, with the camera being aligned with your eyes.
Make eye contact
Making eye contact is as key on a video call as it is in person. It lets people know you are trustworthy and confident. Looking at the camera makes people feel like you are, in fact, looking at them. Avoid the huge temptation to stare at your own image during the video call. This is more difficult than it sounds. Sign on and check your own image before starting the video call, then make that square really small or close it all together.
It’s very easy to get distracted while on video calls. Make sure you turn off all electronic distractions such as televisions or radios and ensure that you will not be disturbed. Close all windows and tabs on your computer and make sure that no alerts are set to pop up on your screen.
What to wear
Wear whatever you would wear for the same meeting in person. You need to present yourself appropriately. Being on camera does not mean being dressed down, unless it is a very informal call.
Confidence comes across quickly on a video call. Increase your confidence by being well-prepared. Prepare any material you might need before-hand and sign in at least 10 minutes before the call.
I hope these tips help you look better on video calls, they’ve sure helped us at Van Patter Group. Just like anything, video calls require a bit of practice to get good at. So, if something doesn’t go quite right the first time, don’t panic. It will definitely get better!