Are your work weeks filled with online meetings?
The temptation is to just flip open your laptop, put on a funny background and let ‘er rip.
For some situations this is just fine. But keep in mind, your meeting setup reflects not only your credibility But also how seriously you’re taking the meeting. Here are 4 easy things you can do to up your game and Zoom Like A BOSS!
1 – Mind Your Surroundings
First, let’s talk about your location and choice of background.
My typical home office setting (with my laptop sitting on my desk) isn’t great. There’s a lot of background clutter behind me, I typically forget to turn off my desk lamp which provides a distracting backlighting and the camera is really low. Not optimal. If your setting is similar, I’d recommend a virtual background.
To make a good impression make sure you’re not putting yourself on the Millennium Falcon or on a beach somewhere, because that tells me you aren’t taking the meeting seriously. And whatever you do DON’T use a video background.
Instead, I’d recommend a basic home or office background or if your software allows you to blur your background you could try that. Try a darker image then a lighter image to see what works best for you in your situation. In any case, you’re going to have that strange halo effect and it’s going to make hand gestures a little bit odd so watch out for that.
The best option is to find a natural environment in your house. I use an exposed brick background because I think it adds some warmth and isn’t as distracting. And THAT is the key: to REDUCE distractions. You are the star of this show. All the attention should be on you NOT your background.
2 – Put Yourself if Good Lighting
The next thing we need to address is our lighting and put ourselves in some good light. The typical overhead lighting in your house probably isn’t doing you any favors. It’s drastic, it’s not very flattering and puts shadows under your eyes. Bleugh!
To remedy this all you need are a pair of desk or table lamps and put them on either side of the camera. They generally offer a softer light and at much more flattering angles. Or if you can sit across from a big bright window nothing beats a good, natural light.
The other thing to be aware of is the glare on your glasses. If you can go without them or wear contacts that’d be great. Because then all the attention will remain on you.
3 – Position of Your Camera
One of the easiest things to adjust will also have the most impact on how people see you. That’s how to position your camera and how to put yourself into frame.
The first thing to do is grab some books, put them under your laptop and raise your camera to eye level. This will help those of us who might be a little sensitive of our double chins and spare the rest of us from having to look up your
nose the entire time.
The next thing to do is give yourself a powerful position within the frame. Our tendency is to put ourselves in the middle of the frame. This diminishes our power and adds a lot of distracting background around us. Be strong! DOMINATE the frame! This will definitely enhance your credibility.
And while we’re at it, make sure you’re speaking into the camera as much as possible instead of looking at yourself or others. This will help you appear more engaging and personable.
4 – Your Technical Setup
One of the biggest differences between a strong and weak is your technical setup.
First, let’s talk about your camera. If you can afford to buy a high-definition webcam, do it. You won’t believe the difference it makes.
At the same time, don’t overlook the great camera you’ve probably already got in your pocket. That’s the one on your smart phone. Smartphones these days have great cameras and should be compatible with all online meeting/streaming platforms and programs these days. If you go that route, you’ll probably want to invest in a small tripod. That way you’ll be able to keep the phone steady and hold the camera raised to eye level.
Now let’s make sure your audio is the best it can be. Oddly enough, we are more forgiving of bad video than we are of bad audio. It’s hard to listen intently if we can’t year you well or if the sound is bad.
Experiment with some headsets, or some earbuds with microphones, or even better yet you might try wireless earbuds with a microphone to reduce visual distractions. But whatever route you choose get the best sound you possibly can.
OK. That’s it! Four easy things you can do to dominate your next online meetings.
But wait!! I have one more tip for you. Make sure you blow on that wine in your coffee mug… to make sure that people know your “TEA” is really hot. Cheers!
All of our service area leaders have dozens of years of experience. These are protips they’ve picked up along the way that you can use right now to solve common issues.