Video conferencing has seen rapid-fire growth in the last few years because it drives better collaboration for businesses all around the world. Video adds a personal connection in a way a conference call can’t, and can elevate a team interaction as if you’re working together in the same room. Video is especially important for remote workers to be perceived as a real part of the team, bridging the disconnect of joining the meeting from a distant location.
If you’re a rockstar remote worker who is ready to hop on a video conference call or a webinar, a few minutes of webcam prep can go a long way in having a more professional presence in the meeting. Just like a broadway show, it’s not as simple as lights, camera, action. To make sure you’re ready to leave a good impression during your next video meeting, use these simple tips to prepare – just as a leading actor or director would.
1. Lock in Your Lighting.
Good lighting is key – if they can’t see you, what’s the point? Opt for natural light when possible, so try sitting close to a window. And make sure your light source is in front of you so that you’re lit from the front, and not from behind. Lighting behind you guarantees you’ll look like one of those people whose identity is concealed during an interview – a faceless, gray shadow of a person.
2. Connect with the Audience.
The impression you’re giving when you join a meeting remote is that you have a “seat at the table”. So your camera should be positioned as such. Make sure the camera is positioned so that it’s directly in your eye line, or have to look slightly upward. Get creative if you have to – use books, step stools, to adjust the height of the webcam. Eye contact is absolutely key to drive engaging conversation.
3. Set the Scenery.
This is all about eliminating distractions. If you want to be taken seriously when speaking in this meeting, don’t give people a reason to think otherwise. Clutter, distracting artwork, or personal items should not be visible when you turn on your webcam. Look for a space with a blank wall, or a simple piece of art.
4. Work with Hair and Makeup.
As a remote worker, you probably don’t have to be “ready for your closeup” on a daily basis. And sometimes that means skipping the makeup and working in your pajamas. But anytime you’re using a webcam to meet with colleagues or potential clients, plan some extra time to prepare to face the public. A great rule of thumb is to dress or appear as if you were going into the office that day.
5. Run a Dress Rehearsal.
Before it’s time to go live, give yourself a dress rehearsal. Take 15 minutes before the meeting starts to run a test meeting to see how you look on camera. Make adjustments to light, camera height, the background, and your appearance as necessary. You don’t want to spend the first five minutes of the meeting adjusting your camera or lighting.