With virtual meetings continuing to be an integral part of work communication and relationship building, you should also be considering what your virtual setup says about you. Here are some tips to help make your video conferencing presence as professional as you are:
- Test your audio before your call. Is your work space uncarpeted? Take your video calls in a carpeted room if possible to avoid echoey audio. Does your computer have a good built-in microphone or should you switch to headphones with a built-in mic instead?
- Consider your camera background. Do you have bright colors behind you? Try to have a neutral background, like a solid colored white or gray wall. Although it is an option on ZoomTM, avoid virtual backgrounds as well, as they can be distracting.
- Be mindful of those around you. Are people in your home constantly moving in your camera background? If your work space doesn’t have a door, politely ask others around the home to not enter the room while you are on the call.
- Keep your camera at eye level. Having your computer on your lap might be comfortable, but for others on the call, this extreme angle can keep them from focusing on the content of your words. Keeping your computer on a desk that doesn’t move will also help with video image stability.
- Look at your camera when you aren’t talking. It can be hard to not look down at someone else’s video image when they are talking on the screen, but for them, seeing you look directly at the camera will make it feel like you are looking at them and create a better connection.
- Use good lighting. Make sure your video conferencing space has lighting that can help illuminate your face. One large lamp can help or set yourself up by a window to use natural lighting.
- Dress for success. Getting on the video call in your pajama pants might be tempting, but follow your workplace’s dress code when on the call. How you feel does influence how you interact with others. For video calls especially, avoid wearing bright white or intricate patterns that can be distracting on camera.
- Use the mute button. When you know you won’t be talking for a while on the call, mute your audio. This can help limit the noises others hear around your home when you aren’t contributing to the conversation.
- Turn off your notifications. To avoid further distractions to you and others on the call, put your phone on silent and exit out of any social media platforms that might have friends and family pinging you. If you have headphones, use them. This could help limit any other notifications others hear on the call.
Use these tips and you won’t only present yourself in a more professional manner on video calls, but it will help others connect with you and focus on the content of your words. You are an expert in what you do, and virtual meetings are simply another challenge to overcome.
We’re all in this together.