Make Yourself Look Better on a Video Call

It’s not always possible to have face to face meetings with employees or potential clients. For this reason, video conferencing can be extremely helpful. When you see the person or persons you’re speaking to, the conversation is usually more engaging and effective. Unfortunately, depending on the location of your device, the lighting behind you, and other environmental factors, you may look washed out, or be difficult to see. Here are a few tips to look better on your next video call.

What’s your Angle?
The angle of your desktop, laptop, or tablet may not seem like an important detail, but it can make a huge difference in how individuals see you on screen. If your webcam is placed too high, those viewing you will feel like they’re towering over you. If placed too low, your meeting companions may get a good look at the inside of your nose. The best angle is one in which the camera looks at you head on. Before your next video call, open your video conferencing software and see how you appear. If need be, alter the angle or location of the webcam, or use books to prop your device as needed. This will help ensure a good straight on view of yourself.

Correct Lighting
Depending on your light source, you could appear to have a darkened face with dark bags under your eyes, or look healthy and alert. The right type of lighting can make a huge difference regarding how you look on screen. You don’t want over head lighting because it will produce shadows under your eyes. Light from behind will make your body and face appear to be in the shadows. The best type of lighting is soft and located somewhere in front of you. This will make your face visible and easy to see through a webcam.

Limit Distractions
The last thing you want during an important business call is to get interrupted by someone in your office, a child in the next room, or a call on your cell phone. Before your video call, make the necessary arrangements to avoid these interruptions. Post a noticeable sign on your office door that you are not to be disturbed and put your cell phone on silent. If you work from home with small children, arrange for a babysitter.

Background Clutter
Think about things that may be visible behind you. This could be wall hangings, the view into other rooms, or a window that overlooks the park. All of these could be distracting to those you’re chatting with. Just like you did with lighting, do a trial run with your webcam to see what’s visible behind you. Remove clutter or other distracting things, close windows if necessary, and make the view as professional as possible.

Professional Appearance
Some people who video chat choose to wear business attire only from the waist up because that’s usually all that’s visible through a webcam. This may work most of the time, but there may come a time when you need to stand up, and you might be embarrassed by what you’re wearing from the waist down. Choose solid color clothes and make sure you don’t have any food stuck in your teeth. If you tend to run cold, wear a sweater so you don’t appear to shiver in the meeting. If you run warn, think about bringing in a fan so you don’t appear to be sweating. Select a comfortable chair so you won’t feel the urge to fidget.