From everyday meetings to job interviews and more, video conferencing is an increasingly common tool that everyone should know how to use to best advantage. Whether you use Zoom, Go-To-Meeting, Skype, or another application, these guidelines will help you to look professional.
In The Chronicle of Higher Education article, “Ready for Your Close-Up?” author Stephanie J. Hull, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation says these tips will help to “zoom in on who you are and what you have to say.”
- Begin by testing your technology, with one person and also with a group to troubleshoot any potential problems and verify your knowledge of how to use the various functions. Hull suggests testing both the computer audio and your phone to see which is better, ascertain if you should use a headset or external microphone, and verify that you can mute and unmute, start and stop video, leave the meeting, change the screen view, and use the chat function.
- Check the lighting; diffuse lighting from the front is generally preferred.
- Look at your background and aim for a neutral surface that does not distract.
- The camera should be centered and you should be looking straight ahead.
- Sit up and try to stay still as moving around is audibly and visually distracting.
- Wear appropriate clothing.
- Seek constructive criticism from someone who has watched you practice your skills and will be painfully honest if you’re not presenting yourself to best advantage.
- Minimize your view of yourself and maximize the view of the other person. Talk to them; don’t watch yourself in action.
Take the time to see how you are presenting yourself well in advance so you can make any necessary adjustments. After making the best choices about the things you can control to create the right professional conditions, sit back and relax.
Read more great video tips and ways to overcome camera-shyness in “Ready for Your Close-Up?.”