Simply put, looking your best on zoom is as simple as having good lighting on your face that is brighter than your computer screen and background. A simple, clutter-free background helps, too. Here's all the details you need if you really want to get into a GREAT ZOOM or video conference call on any platform.
- Position the camera at or slightly above eye level.
- Looking up the nose is never attractive.
- Upward angle also accentuates double chins and makes you look larger than you are.
- Slide a box under your computer for the better angle.
- Watch your background. What is showing behind you when you have the angle set up for your face?
- LIGHT ON YOUR FACE!
- §#1 biggest miss.
- §A basic lighting rule in photography is that the face of the subject should be the brightest part of the image.
- §Sit facing a window. Windows should be no more than a 45-degree angle from the front of you. Any more than that and you will be back lit.
- §Avoid windows behind you or you will get a dark subject and/or glare.
- Use as much natural light as you can. Open up all the shades and let it fill up the room! I even do this when I am lighting my face with a ring light or soft box.
- No natural light? Find a small ring light and sit it on your desk behind your computer or camera. Other lights are even made to clip to a shelf or your screen and light your face.
- Glasses Glare! If you are wearing glasses, make sure you are watching for reflection in your glasses. Light should be slightly above and to the side at about 2:00 and 10:00. 45-degree angle also works. If you don’t light your face, you will also get glare from your screen.
- Simple Background- Get rid of clutter. Plain backgrounds are the EASIEST way to put people’s eyes on you.
- Tell a story- Adding a few elements into the background can add interest; pictures on the wall, flowers, window furnishings, furniture, etc. Keep them clean, simple and non-distracting.
- If you really want to dazzle your fellow zoom attendees, choose a background that looks good with your skin and hair tones and/or one that matches your outfit!
Here’s how to change your background: click on zoom. Then preferences> virtual background. Zoom has a few images in there to get you started, but you can load your own photos and video clips as well. REMEMBER! Don’t be too distracting.
Advantages: hides your background
Quick way to add style and personality to an every-day meeting. I have several different colors and patterns so I can match whatever I’m wearing. I look put together even if I forgot a meeting and join last minute. Suddenly an ordinary t-shirt looks great with the right background.
Sometimes it does weird things. It doesn’t like it when I wear a ponytail. It wants to cut off the ponytail AND my snazzy earrings, even my ears! People with shorter curly hair get a bubble around their head. Once a friend of mine turned on the background and I could see the background through her eyes! I made her look like a demon!
It doesn’t allow you to show something very well. If you have a demonstration, plan on a live background.
Choose clothes, hair and makeup that you love, matches your brand, your background AND that you look good in!
Clothes: Choose clothes that express your style and fit the occasion. Are you the presenter? Will you be speaking? Are you just an attendee?
Grooming: No one has to know that you haven't showered in 3 days. Still. Drag a brush through your hair and throw on some lipstick. Choose colors and style that match your brand, even if it's an everyday meeting. Branded t-shirts are a great way to get around putting effort into this. If you brand is YOU this shouldn't be a problem. Most of my t-shirts and PJ's match my brand!
Pay attention to your camera quality. Older PC’s and Laptops may not have good quality cameras. Cameras can be purchased fairly inexpensively, about $50 and will clip to the top of your computer screen.
Sound. You need to sound good too! Simple earbuds with microphone make a huge difference. Other equipment can also be purchased fairly inexpensively as well.
Ethernet Cable- If you are doing important meetings and presentations online, it is highly encouraged that you get an ethernet cable and plug directly into your modem! This will help keep you from having connectivity issues; looking pixelated, sounding garbled, freezing or even losing connection.
Be comfortable! Don’t forget this! If you are spending hours on zoom meetings, make sure you are comfortable and in a proper chair and posture that is kind to your body. I a couple weeks into the Corona Virus Shelter in Place, several people said their backs needed breaks from being in zoom meetings all day!