You wake up at 9 in the morning; wash your face; cook an egg for five minutes while you toast your bread; eat your breakfast for 10 minutes; put on a shirt, sit down, and you’re ready for your 9:30 video conference two minutes before it starts.
Gone are the days when you had to prepare your outfit from head to toe, curl your hair for an hour, do your makeup for another one, and save more time for your commute. All of these while praying you would still look fresh by the time you arrive at the office for your morning meeting.
This is the age of remote work and video conferences are at their peak. In social media, we see memes everywhere that poke fun at usual video call etiquette. Aside from forgetting to mute the microphone when you’re talking to someone or not turning off the camera when you doze off to slumber, most of us also don’t bother changing our pajamas under the table. Who would see it any way other than our dog patiently waiting for his treat on the floor?
While it’s still better to be prepared, we must prioritize minimizing distractions that people could see and hear so that when we get it out of the way, we can concentrate primarily on our actual job to present ourselves in the most professional way possible. Here are some pointers on how you could look your best at every video meeting to impress your boss, a client, or an interviewer.
1. Place your web camera or laptop at eye level.
It’s always recommended to look at your superiors and colleagues at eye level. It’s easier to establish eye contact and there wouldn’t be any power-play indications if you’re looking at them from above or from below where your double chin may also not be that appealing.
Keep it at eye level by using a desk converter. One excellent option is the Flexispot Standing Desk Motorized AlcoveRiser EM7. It’s stable and could carry a maximum weight of 44 pounds. It has integrated up/down buttons that adjusting the height of the converter is easy peasy. It comes with a keyboard tray that could be removed anytime you need it. The desktop surface is spacious and could hold two 21.5” monitors plus more room for other desk items.
While we’re at it, one pro tip is to invest in an external web camera instead of relying on your laptop’s built-in camera. If you have a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, you could connect it to your laptop through a capture card. You may also use apps like EpocCam to connect your smartphone’s camera to your laptop.
2. Opt for a clean, solid background.
Keep distractions at a minimum especially if you are presenting a deck to your boss and the rest of the board. You want them to be focused on you and your presentation---nothing else. A clean background also shows your character, whether you are a tidy and disciplined person or lazy and sloppy with your work environment.
Make sure you have proper office storage in your home office so that your desk or your surroundings won’t look messy in a video call. You may opt to use an Under Desk Drawer from Flexispot which can be easily mounted on any surface. There’s also an option of using a Mesh Desk Organizer so if there’ll be an instance that you need something in the middle of the meeting, the item will be easy to spot and grab. You may also use a Mobile File Cabinet from Flexispot that has rolling caster wheels that you may drag when you need something stored inside of it.
3. Prepare a proper lighting set-up.
Not everyone has a studio set-up at home and that’s okay. You’ll just need to position your laptop or desktop in front of the window or at an angle. This will instantly illuminate your face and brighten your aura. If your room doesn’t have any windows, you may use a table lamp and place it behind your laptop or desktop. Flexispot has a Task Lamp with an adjustable arm and a rotating head. Before starting the call, look at yourself and how you like in front of the camera at different light angles. Move it up and down, left and right. You could play with shadows as long as it still looks natural and professional.
4. Sit or stand up properly.
Proper posture shows confidence and discipline. If you slouch or lean too much on your chair during a video call, it may come off as laziness. The Soutien Ergonomic Office Chair from Flexispot is perfect to make sure you’ll sit upright on each one of your video calls. It has a 3D lumbar support system that makes for an elegantly curved backrest. Set it at a straight angle so you wouldn’t lean back too far and look like you’re sleepy during the meeting.
A standing desk can also help improve your posture. The Flexispot Kana Pro Bamboo Standing Desk can carry up to 275 pounds. It’s stable even at the highest setting. With its 3-stage frame design, it’s easy to adjust the height of the table anywhere between 23.6” to 49.2” It also comes with a smart control panel, a built-in cable management system, and a socket outlet.
5. Make sure you have a stable internet connection.
For a better connection, use an Ethernet cable to attach your laptop or desktop to a modem or router. Relying on a wireless internet connection is not stable and would probably freeze your frame at times when you’re speaking or pause inconveniently at an unflattering angle or facial expression.
6. Use headphones.
Audio is one-half of your video call performance. You don’t want people on the call hearing themselves if you’re on speaker or using your laptop’s built-in microphone. You also want them to hear you clearly so there won’t be any miscommunication among all parties present in the meeting.
When all these have been taken care of, you could focus on the important part and that is delivering your job in the call. Always come prepared. Have a pen and your notes ready. Get a good night’s sleep before the meeting so you’d stay alert. Ask questions and engage. Lastly, take a deep breath. You got this!