Zoom, Skype, and Google

Hangouts have all become

common tools in our lives as

we social distance and

shelter-in-place. Business

meetings have been replaced

with the video call. It’s our new

normal and it’s here to stay.

While it was fun for the first

few weeks to be in our

pyjamas with videos off and

mics on mute, the novelty has

worn off slightly. As we get

settled into our new normal it

helps to get back to our

weekday routine – that

includes wearing pants.

Routine not only improves

our mental health, it also helps

us be successful when working

from home.

As we start turning videos on,

many are wondering how to

look as good on a video call as

they do in person while

working with what you have at

home. Don’t panic – with a

couple of tips and tweaks you

can ensure you always look

professional on a video call.

1. Dress appropriately

You need to dress for a video

call as you would for an

in-person meeting – or as close

as possible.

We may be in the middle of a

crisis with coronavirus but

first impressions still matter.

What you wear is nearly as

important as what you say.

As you are at home it may be

ok to take it down a notch, but

not too far.

More cashmere sweater than

varsity sweatshirt.

If you are in any doubt always

dress up,

never down. Know that if you

are talking with the CEO of a


and they expect a tie at all

times you will still need to

wear a tie!

Dress appropriately

professional for the type of

video call you are on.

2. Fill your face with light

In an ideal world, the best

room in your house to conduct

a video call will also have

exceptional lighting. Failing



Get two lamps and position

them on either side of your


That way, your face will be

illuminated from both sides

and you will avoid unnatural


Video quality is not always the


so every trick will help you

make a good impression.

3. Raise your camera

Position your webcam eye level

or higher.

This way you will be looking

directly into the camera,

not down, and it will look more


If this means you need to stack

your laptop or screen on some

books, do it. Just make sure it

isn’t balanced precariously,

you wouldn’t want it to fall

over mid video call.

Make sure to look at the

camera as much as possible, or

at the screen closes to where

the camera is.

It will appear as direct eye

contact. Avoid looking at

yourself in the small frame of

the corner of your screen.

4. Find a quiet place (and use your best headphones)

While we don’t have a lot of

control over audio quality in a

video call, you will sound

better in a quiet room. Keep in

mind that headphone can help

you cut ambient noise, as well

as ensure you hear what is

being said. Remember that if

you can’t hear the discussion,

you will very likely answer

incorrectly when called on.

Make sure your headphone mic

is working correctly too. You

may need to try a couple of

headphones to find the one

that has the clearest sound.

5. Choose a neutral background

Look at the background that

will be in your video

interviews. Is it a direct eyeline

to your hamster cage or your

bathroom? Both of those are

distracting in different ways

and will look unprofessional.

Avoid that by making sure

your background is a clear

wall or more professional

looking space.

Don’t have that option

available? If you are on a

Zoom call you can set up a

virtual background to display

an image as your background

during the call.

Shutterstock also has

several free virtual

backgrounds you can

download and use.

6. Check your tech

Once you have your set up in

place, do a trial run with a

friend or family member.

Make sure your webcam,

microphone, and headphones

are working correctly. Make

any adjustments you need to in

your trial call, so you are ready

to go when your meeting starts.

Make sure you have a good

internet connection. If your

internet is likely to cut out,

make sure no one else in the

house is downloading all 16

seasons of Grey’s Anatomy at

the same time as your video

call. Don’t let your internet

connection let you down your


As a courtesy to others know

how to mute your microphone.

Unmute yourself quickly when

you need to speak and put

mute back on afterwards. This

will ensure no random outside

notices make their way onto

your video call.

7. Body language

Even though people will only

be seeing the top half of your

body, you still need to be

aware of your body language.

Sit up straight in your chair

with your feet on the ground.

Keep the fidgeting down to a

minimum. Know what you

look like before you get on the

video call – don’t check your

teeth once you’re connected.

Don’t forget that you’re on

camera. Part of looking good

means acting as you would in

person. Pay close attention to

your video call settings, and

the expression on your face.

We can all still see you!

8. Keep clear of distractions – if possible

As with regular meeting, try to

clear the room you are in of

everything that will distract

you. Turn off the radio and TV.

Close the door so family

roommates, children or pets

don’t interrupt you mid-call.

But if they do, roll with it as

best you can.

This is an unusual time and we

are often working in less than

ideal home office situations. It

may put a smile on a

coworker’s face to see your cat

appear for on-screen for a

while. If your child needs to

know “Why are we having

spaghetti for the third night in

a row?”, politely excuse

yourself out loud, hit mute,

and try come back as quick as

possible. Just remember you

are still on camera and the video call is still going.

Final thoughts

If you are really uncomfortable

on camera, then practise,

practise, practise. The more

you practise, the more you will

be comfortable. Even though it

may be awkward at first, with

a couple of practise rounds you

can become a consummate


Stay safe, keep healthy, and

remember to be kind to


Published by Sima Sarkar

I am Anjan.I am a freelancer.I am trying to write day to day human issues.I want to highlight issues related to 'Mother Earth' as well.

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