Many of us are having to take many more video calls than ever before, and this raises a number of problems. One issue that a lot of us are facing is how to look your absolute best while you are on that important Zoom call. If you have been worrying about that then this post is for you, these are my top tips on how to look your best on your next video call. Follow these tips and tricks and you should find that you look your very best at your next virtual meeting!
Start with the traditional
First up, it’s worth trying to look your best in all of the normal, traditional ways that you would probably have been doing anyway! Simple things like making sure you have your angles worked out, your hair is styled and your makeup is natural and professional (remember not everything that looks good in the mirror translates well on camera!)
The simple things – being clean and presentable, deciding what style you want to have and going for it – are all still going to make a difference to how you look on Zoom or Google Meet. Keeping those details polished and making sure your usual work standards are being met (lets be honest we have all been a bit more relaxed working from home but this doesn’t always read well when on a call with your boss, pj’s on the Zoom call? maybe not!) Just remember that the rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t wear it to a face to face meeting then don’t do it for your virtual ones either!
Take a rehearsal
It’s a really good idea to take a minute to turn your webcam on and see how you look, before the meeting. It allows you to check your lighting is working well, your backdrop is professional (or invest in a digital backdrop if need be!) and you look professional. I’ve personally found that some makeup looks seem quite bold in person but look washed out on camera and some times what looks like a ‘bright lip’ in person looks neon on camera so double checking is always a good idea!
Rehearsing your meeting also allows you to feel confident going into the real one, nothings worst then realising mid call you have a bottle of wine in the background, the lighting is too dark or your hair has gone wild!
Look at the lighting
Speaking of lighting, you have to try and become something of an amateur director if you hope to look your absolute best on video calls nowadays! It is really important to spend some time looking at the lighting in the room where you will take the call, so that you can determine whether or not you look your best. When you test out the lighting, make sure that you are dressed in what you will be dressed in for the meeting itself, with your makeup the same so there are no surprises on the day!
You don’t need professional lights to have a well lit space. All you need is to play around with the home lighting itself, try out different corners of the room, and perhaps place a lamp in the appropriate place to see what effect it can give. You can also use natural lighting if you are lucky enough to have a well lit space but remember natural lighting can be temperamental so it might be worth investing in a vanity lamp to put behind your computer for consistent lighting. See www.bbc.com for more on this.
At all times, it is important that you make a point of remaining perfectly professional in your appearance. Your level of professionalism is one of the most essential aspects of looking the part in an online call, and it is something that you are going to have to look into if you want to make sure you are getting all of this right. There are a lot of things to consider in trying to look professional, and one of the major ones is what kind of meeting it is – as some are more or less formal than others, and vice versa.
Once you know the dress code for the meeting, it’s all about focusing on the details and making sure that you don’t let anything slip. That means dressing how you would dress for an in-person meeting, and don’t forget about the accessories and accoutrements too. If you wear glasses, for instance, you might want to check www.eyeglasses.com for smarter or more professional glasses than you currently have, just to complete the look.
Choose your background
At the same time as looking into the lighting and so on, you also need to think about what your background is. Whilst you might be limited in your options, and people will appreciate that as they are probably in the same boat, you still have better and worse options in your home to choose between, so you need to make sure that you are choosing carefully. Try not to go for a background that is too cluttered or messy, or which indicates that you have a messier home life than your professional visage tends to suggest.
If you are finding it challenging to find a decent spot, you might want to consider using a Zoom background that you have constructed yourself, or gained online, which allows you to keep your home private while also appearing more professional, and even suiting colours that will suit you best. This is becoming quite common, and it is a good way of ensuring that you look your best while chatting with colleagues and managers.
If you are going to be having lots of video calls, and you don’t mind splashing out a bit, you could consider getting your hands on a new camera, and using that to look your best too. The quality of the camera is going to make a huge difference, so upgrading from the in-built one on your laptop could be a good way to go. That way, you are going to be able to make the most of how you look, and that is going to help you along nicely.
If you take all of this on board, you will look your best in all of your video calls, and that could even be important for the future of your career. As it looks as though there is no chance of Covid going anywhere anytime soon, this could be hugely important, so make sure you don’t overlook it. Look your best, and see what it does to how people treat you on those video calls.