Many working Americans will continue to work from home this year as more and more businesses shift to remote work. With video conferencing apps becoming the new way to communicate, being camera-ready has never been more important. Here are a few tips that can help you look and feel great at your next virtual meeting.
Let Some Light In
You don’t want to look like a silhouette or a sleepless zombie. Shadows can emphasize the bags under your eyes and make you look tired. This is especially true if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Brighten up your face and highlight your features with front-facing natural light. Place your laptop or computer in front of a window and get as much natural light in your room as possible.
If you have a windowless room, or if your meetings take place in the evening, placing a lamp in front of you will do the trick.
Keep It Eye-Level
Avoiding low angles is a cardinal rule whether you’re taking a selfie or presenting a pitch. Keep your camera at eye-level or higher to keep your co-workers from seeing your double chin or looking up your nostrils. Just don’t place it too high, or they might feel like they’re looking down on you.
If you’re using your laptop’s built-in camera, chances are your angle’s too low. You can solve this by setting your laptop down on a few books or a sturdy box. However, if you’re using your phone, you use a tripod you can prop up on a table to help you get the angle right.
Keep Your Distance
It’s important to stay socially-distanced, even from your laptop. If you’re too close to the camera, you might make other participants feel uncomfortable. You don’t have to be six feet away, but you want to make sure that the top of your head and both your shoulders are in the frame. If you want to show off your new worktop, you can move a little farther back. Just make sure you’ve cleaned up behind you if you’re not using a virtual background.
Take Care of Your Skin
If you have “camera on” meetings often, a breakout can make you feel self-conscious. While dabbing on some makeup is a good way to hide those blemishes, having a proper skincare routine can help you avoid breakouts and keep your skin glowing on and off-camera. Getting the right regimen going with skin products that are compatible with your skin will make you confident enough to say, “I woke up like this.” If you aren’t familiar with skincare products and you’re unsure where to start, a reliable dermatologist can help you figure out what products you can use for your skin type. By doing this, you’ll have better skin, and you’ll get more time in bed too.
Use a Filter
If you need a quick fix to get you through the meeting, the latest version of Zoom has different filters you can use to enhance your look. You can choose two options to get that camera-ready glow: the basic beauty filter and the Studio Effects feature.
The basic beauty filter gives a softening effect that smooths over any texture and other imperfections. On the other hand, the Studio Effects feature is a beta feature that comes with the latest version of Zoom, giving you the chance to put on some virtual makeup. If you’re in a hurry and you can’t find your eyebrow pencil and lipstick, this feature can be a lifesaver.
Dress the Part
You don’t have to dress in your full corporate attire at home unless your work requires you. Depending on what kind of company you work for, you can either go semi-formal with a t-shirt and blazer or go simple with a hoodie and sweatpants. Not only does dressing up help you look more presentable, but it makes you more productive too. Just remember to avoid wearing very bright or dark colors because they don’t translate well on camera.
Stick to neutral and pastel colors that please the eyes and avoid loud patterns and jewelry. When dressing up during virtual meetings, simple is best.
Choose the Right Background
You might not always be in the mood to clean up whatever’s behind you, which is where virtual backgrounds come in. They’re easy to use, and you won’t have to worry about a messy background. However, keep this in mind when choosing your background: make sure the colors don’t clash with your outfit and don’t choose one that’s too close to the colors you’re wearing. You don’t want to give your co-workers a migraine, and you don’t want to look like a floating head.
Do a Test Run
Once you have all these steps down, do a test run before your meeting. Many video conferencing applications give you the option to adjust video settings, so you can use that to see how your virtual setup looks before you go live. If you’re happy with all the adjustments you’ve made, you’re done!
Getting used to working from home isn’t easy, but with these helpful steps, you’ll be on your way to becoming a virtual meeting pro. Now go ace that meeting!