Tips for Better Video Conferencing Part 4: Looking Polished
Not too long ago, the clients a firm worked with were mostly limited to their geographic location. A firm might work with a few clients on a long-distance basis, but the need to exchange paper meant it wasn’t really practical to have a client base spread out across the country. Now, technology has eliminated the barriers to working with remote clients, and video conferencing allows firms to stay connected with “face-to-face” communication no matter where they’re located.
That’s great, but some people find chatting in a video conference uncomfortable. From worrying about how you’ll look to dealing with outside distractions and technical difficulties, it can be hard to relax and focus on the conversation.
Today we’re sharing some tips for looking polished in a video conference.
Never underestimate the importance of lighting on a video conference. People want to see you, not a blurry shadow.
Natural light is always the best. If possible, position your camera with a window behind it, so your face is illuminated. If that’s not possible, at least ensure that the window isn’t directly behind you – that setup will turn you into a silhouette and your viewers will have a crystal clear view outside.
At night, or in locations without windows, you’ll have to rely on artificial lighting. In that case, try to avoid overhead light, as it creates shadows under your eyes. A small, inexpensive desk lamp can help you get decent illumination.
Camera angle can be a challenge, especially if you’re video conferencing from the road. A web came clipped to the top of your monitor may be angled down too much, making your viewers feel like they’re towering above you. The built-in camera on your laptop may be too low, which is an unflattering angle for most people.
Ideally, the lens should be at eye level. Buy an inexpensive tripod for your phone or stack books under your laptop to get the right height.
Though only your head and shoulders may be in the frame during the conference, you never know if you’ll have to get up suddenly. Especially if you’re working from home, it can be tempting to dress casually but dress as if you’re meeting face to face. You don’t have to wear a suit but at wear clean and professional clothing in flattering colors. Also, keep in mind that big, bold patterns on your clothing or flashy jewelry can look too busy and be distracting. Keep things simple.
Make eye contact
It’s tempting to spend the conference looking at the preview box of your own video feed, but this leads to lack of eye contact with the other caller. Instead, look into the webcam and not the screen. Making eye-contact, whether in person or on a video call, helps you come across as sincere and engaged.
If you’re worried about how you look, test out your video ahead of the call to make sure you’re happy with your lighting, angle, and other aspects of your appearance.
People better remember what they see as opposed to what they hear. Invest a little time and effort to ensure your video conferences leave clients with a lasting impression of your professionalism and polish!
As the Marketing Manager for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Heather’s primary focus is on developing the firm’s marketing strategy and brand awareness to help drive business results. She manages and executes marketing and business development initiatives, with daily oversight of the website, social media, and thought leadership content. In addition, as a part of the Business Development team, she provides leadership and strategic planning on marketing and communication practices for the firm.