Need some pointers to look even better on Zoom, especially now that you’re teleworking?
We’re guessing you already know not to wear stripes and patterns and earrings that jingle so loudly they drown out your voice.
And you’ve probably heard that your disheveled bookcase with the stacks of dirty laundry in front is not an ideal background.
That’s why we’re sharing five hints that aren’t the typical ones, so you look the part the next time the camera is on you.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t start with light.
If you’re sitting in the dark or the sun’s so bright, you look washed out, that’s distracting.
Make sure you are in a well-lit area and that the light source is in front of you during a Zoom call.
If your desk faces a window, depending on the time of day and the weather, how you look will vary based on sun patterns.
If you wear glasses, make sure the light source is above you to prevent glare.
You can invest in fancy lighting kits if you need more light but positioning a lamp or using a clip-on light for your computer works well, too.
Practice with different light and angles by taking your phone and switching the camera function to focus on you.
You can also use Photobooth to test how you look before going live.
The eyes always have it, and if you’re female, you can go crazy with eye makeup, depending on your goal (is it to reduce the fact that you stayed up too late the night before? To minimize dark circles? Want to accentuate your lashes with mascara? The list is endless).
Whatever you do, make eye contact just as you would in person. Try not to stare at yourself. Look into the camera rather than down at your keyboard.
Don’t forget to smile and listen with your eyes, too. Refrain from being a statue.
Use your hands to make gestures when you talk (make sure the camera picks this up by where it’s positioned).
Interact with your Zoom-mates.
You can only do this is if you’re truly engaged, not minding the dog that’s chasing the cat or peeking at the Amazon truck as it pulls up.
How do you look when you normally go into the office? That can be your guide for Zoom. Remember you can apply Touch Up My Appearance in Zoom settings to smooth out wrinkles and fade blemishes. You can also play with lighting levels. Remember you might want to change your look depending on the situation. Dressing down for an internal meeting might be OK as opposed to making a presentation involving a client. Your guide to being you in the office also applies when you’re working away from it.
How’s your webcam? You might look like a million bucks, but if your webcam is outdated, you’re only going to look so good. You can invest in a webcam or consider an app. Epocam, for example, turns your phone into a webcam in minutes, and has all sorts of filters and angles you can play with.
Prepare. This is perhaps the most important tip. When you prepare for a meeting, presentation or job interview, you’re more relaxed. You don’t want to be fumbling for words or questions to ask. You’re ready. You’re on time. You have a cheat sheet out of view from the camera but close to you in case you need to sneak a peek. You’ve used the bathroom, got your coffee or cola nearby, and you’ve even warmed up your voice with some morning chatter to yourself if no one else is around. You’ve checked the mirror, too, just in case the spinach from your omelet got stuck between your two front teeth. Yep, you’ve got this. Just like always.