After spending most of 2020 on Zoom for virtual meetings and TV segments, there are a few tips I have managed to master on how to look your best on virtual Zoom meetings. Whether Zoom, Skype, or the myriad of other platforms, the effect and need are the same.
While Zoom chin is a thing (and the plastic surgery options are endless) – short of undergoing a facelift, there are non-evasive options – despite what the trolls may tell you.
Tip #1. What is behind you?
Tip #2. Where is your computer?
Tip #3. What kind of light do you have?
Tip #4. What are you wearing on top?
Tip #5. Can you hear me?
What Is Behind You?
Start a virtual meeting and look at what is behind you. REALLY LOOK AT WHAT IS BEHIND YOU! There are stories of dirty laundry, bras hanging to dry, cats licking themselves. (See video above.)
Every time you turn that camera on, you are at work. So consider the space that can be seen. Take some time to clean and perhaps even decorate. Command strips can do wonders to add pictures. You can add decor that fits your work profession, like diplomas, travel art, or collectibles.
You can even buy backdrops for short money on Amazon if you need to create a virtual space so a window, door, or the pile of laundry is not seen. Just search for “Photography Backdrop” and you can find systems for less than $40.
Where Is Your Computer?
Are you all tired of watching news interviews where you can see up the nose of the interviewee? Prop up your computer. While books and boxes will do, for a long term solution, get some clear risers. Just toss them under your laptop before the start of a virtual meeting.
What Kind of Light Do You Have?
A window should never be behind you and you should have a source of light that does not put you in the shadow. Consider, if you can, having your desk facing a window for natural light illumination.
Alternatively, have a light on your desk. Consider propping a mirror underneath the light and angling it to you as a way to shine the light on your face. For another inexpensive option, buy a “ring light” on Amazon.
If you are using Zoom, go to your Settings. Click on Video. Then check off the box that says ‘Adjust for Low Light’ and ‘Touch Up my Appearance’. You can play with the settings too.
What Are You Wearing?
There are many stories on the internet about Zoom virtual meeting fails and things have gone wrong. The main point is to wear clothes. Even on the bottom.
Yet for shine, wear bright colors that suit your skin tone and avoid patterns. For women, consider wearing a scarf, bold earrings, or choker necklaces to add some pizazz near your face since that is the focal point. Avoid dark colors if you can or at least add a pop of color somewhere. I love shopping at Target for inexpensive jewelry options, or even for statement necklaces on Amazon.
Can You Hear Me?
Finally, consider the sound. You may need to invest in Apple Airpods or equivalent. Perhaps get an inexpensive area rug on Wayfair to reduce the echo in a room. At a minimum, add a sign to a door so household members know you are on a Zoom call to minimize background yelling and requests. I even put Amazon Echo devices around the house when I hear the kids calling. I quickly mute the call and stop the video feed. Command Alexa to ‘make an announcement’ and promptly remind the family that I am on a Zoom call – before resuming my participation. For important, scheduled meetings, I let the family know in advance and hide the dogs to prevent unwanted, and embarrassing interruptions.