Virtual Meetings Are Here to Stay—Have You Checked Your Background?
You’re on mute! Is she frozen? I am not a cat.
We’ve all heard these comments in the world of video conferencing. With WFH continuing in most workplaces and the video meeting becoming a normal way of business, there are a few simple ways when it comes to how you present yourself on screen
Set the Stage
Your background is a reflection of yourself. Keep it clean to not distract your viewers, but feel free to add in objects or wall art that reflect your personality. Depending on what room you are in, bookshelves give a good texture, as do solid color walls. Aim for texture not patterns. Feel free to turn on your webcam to see how it’s looking as you adjust.
Lighting is incredibly important when it comes to video meetings. Most cameras will generate a better-quality picture the more light you have in a room. That being said, setting up with a light behind you is NOT the way to go. You can face a window for natural light, adjust the overhead room lights, and use a desk lamp next to your computer.
Whether you’re using a webcam or a laptop, the right camera position is crucial. Too low can produce an unflattering image; too much head room, and the viewer won’t know what to focus on. You can use books, computer stands, or other materials to raise your camera to eye-level. It’s also helpful to center yourself in the frame to focus attention on what you are presenting.
You’ve set up your room, added lighting, and adjusted your camera. Now it’s time to test it. Most video conferencing software lets you go into the settings and preview the camera with audio. This is a valuable step so there are no surprises when you get to the real thing. Now it’s time to get comfortable; remember to speak clearly, and address the camera when presenting important points.
Depending on the volume of video meetings you have, you can also invest in headphones, an external microphone, and extra lighting.
Now unmute, and be yourself!