Working from Home: 5 Things to Consider before a Video Conference Call
We are living in an ever changing world. To succeed, we have to keep up with demands. Due to the unfortunate pandemic, many of us are working from home. What this might mean for some is learning how to navigate unfamiliar territory: the virtual landscape.
You may be required to get on Zoom meetings, Face Time calls, or any other digital medium. Many of us need a bit of help on navigating the virtual world and looking great in it. Below are some things to consider before going live.
Dress to an Audience:
It's important to dress for the audience you are interacting with. Definitely wear business appropriate clothing, or what your usual attire is in the office for a Zoom call with coworkers. If you're planning on being in front of a camera, where it's to post on social media or join a virtual video conference with your boss or client, catering an outfit, or half an outfit (the top half) to the occasion is necessary.
Blazers are great for this, if you do not want to change out of your comfy clothing. Raw Earth Wild Sky has comfortable options when it comes to sustainable, comfortable cottons that look polished enough for any in person or virtual appointment. Blazer's especially are minimal effort and look great.
Hair and Makeup:
A bit of effort goes a long way. Even a bit of lip balm or dry shampoo can be great to look presentable. Definitely brush your hair, or tie it up so show your face clearly to your audience. You’ll feel more comfortable about being on camera as well when you look more presentable.
Most people find it unnatural to speak into a lens, or get camera shy. Looking put together can make you more confident in what you have to say and asserting your ideas. Some face powder to smooth out any shine that light could catch on your face is also a good tip to follow.
Fine Good Lighting:
Test out the call beforehand. Open your camera app on your phone or laptop. Walk around to find good angles and lighting. Experiment and practice. You may not nail it on the first try and that it okay. Keep trying. Guidelines when looking for lighting: It should be a natural light, diffused, and coming from a window. Avoid direct light. Turn the camera on and hold it up to yourself and walk around. Filters could be great if the meeting is more casual but we recommend sticking to a natural aesthetic.
Make sure the clothing you choose for the meeting looks great on camera too. Perhaps wear them on your test run while experimenting with light. Avoid shinier tops, sequins, or too much frill. Anything that is too distracting or not your usual attire is not going to set an authentic tone for your interactions. A pretty cardigan from Belford paired with a tank top, or a top with minor embellishment is perfect for giving a relaxed but professional appearance.
Avoid lights that cast a lot of harsh shadows on your face. If you don’t have lots of natural light in your home, try to find a lamp or supplemental light and put it behind the lens so that it shines from right in front of you or besides you so that it cast's light on your good side.
Positioning the Device:
Angle your camera so that you are looking slightly upward. Looking downwards creates unflattering angles. The lens should be just a bit above eye level. Find a good angle. Position your laptop, phone, or camera, on a stack of books or box. Use a tripod if you have one and experiment for the best height.
Do not hold your atop in your lap, or hold your phone up yo your face. Instead, station devices so they are not moving or supported by any parts of your body.
If it's a phone, choose to record horizontally as this will give your audience the best view of you.
It is also best to look at the camera, not yourself in the screen. It’s best not to move around and find a comfortable place to film and where you can freely sit for a lengthy period of time.
Setting the Stage:
A good setting is important for being on camera. Try to avoid filming in a place with distractions. This includes background noises, or an untidy space. A good impression lies in the details. Film where you would create a good setting and remain in one place.
Having a good background here also helps avoid making your eyes drift to that clutter you forgot to move beforehand or that dish you forgot to put away. Consider setting the scene with a plant or candle or a gorgeous handbag. We love Phlox, which specializes in creating exotic skin bags and clutches. The brand is conscious about ethical and environmental responsibilities, hand painted, and engineered by hand.
Being antsy while in a Zoom, FaceTime, or other video call could be tempting.
Try occupying your hands with a mug of tea. If you have a mug, use it to anchor your hands, do not be too fussy with your prop. If the call is more informal, try a pet. Most people would love to see your furry friend in a video correspondence, however, make sure that you bring your pet in when the video steers more informally. Don’t show your dog to a Zoom call full of executives.
There is so much more to it than just clicking record, especially when life online is becoming the new normal. A clever woman knows she need to sharpen her technical skills and progress with the times, doing so by feeling and looking empowered.