How can you look your best on a video call?

When the pandemic struck & people began working 100% remotely, they got by however they could, using whatever technology was available to them. Most people assumed that the whole Corona-scare would be over within a couple of months. That often meant participating in meetings with their laptop’s built-in hardware for video conferencing. That can be a problem because laptop audio and video capabilities are often subpar.

We are almost nearing a full year with our altered remote-working lifestyle. Even with offices looking to reopen, there will be an emphasis on “Hybrid Working” or “Flexi-working”. Video conferencing has emerged as a “must have” for most organizations to ensure business continuity.

However, there has been many instances where people avoid video calls because they don't feel like they look professional on camera. They prefer to keep their cameras “switched off” unless they can appear perfect. This leads to actually more stress & less productivity, as audio participants do not have the level of high engagement & focus that video participants have.

So what are some of the steps that you can take to boost your confidence for the next video meeting and look your best?

1. HIGHLIGHT YOURSELF. Position light in front of you so you are well-lit and centre of attention.

2. AVOID BRIGHTLY LIT BACKGROUNDS. In this situation, cameras usually adjust to dim the entire image--making you look like a dark silhouette! Never sit in front of an open window.

3. PLACE YOUR CAMERA AT EYE LEVEL. This is much more flattering than the notorious 'up-the-nose' shot from below. This will also give much better engagement with your far side participants because it will appear as you are speaking with eye contact.

4. CHECK YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Messy backgrounds or busy settings can be distracting and appear unprofessional. Ideally use the background replacement or blurring feature available with most video platforms such as Zoom & Teams.

5. WEAR BOLD SOLID COLORS. Stripes, large patterns and prints can be distracting to clients and colleagues.

6. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A STRONG, STABLE INTERNET CONNECTION. This will help avoid streaming delays so you don't become a 'frozen face' on your next call.

7. CLOSE UNNECESSARY PROGRAMS. Most video calls consume a lot of your laptop’s resources. Ideally, you should close all other programs and applications so that your laptop can deliver a clear video.

8. CHECK YOUR AUDIO. While this may not affect your visual appearance, poor audio is unprofessional and can impact perception and productivity

9. DO A TEST-RUN Ensure the background and lighting are what you want before your call starts, and double check the camera is focused on you!

10. INVEST IN AN EXTERNAL HD WEBCAM. Whether you're on your laptop or desktop, at home or the o¬ffice, using an external Logitech HD webcam will help improve video clarity, lighting, and speed so you always look your best.

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