A recent study has found that looking directly at the camera instead of the screen can improve the impression you give on a video call. As the use of video calls at work shows no signs of diminishing, making the best of the way you perform on screen is very important. While remote working has presented many challenges, simple changes to the way you present yourself on a call can help you to focus on your work without worrying about how you look or sound.
Looking Professional on Camera
Although telecommuting has allowed employees to wear pajamas at work if they want, getting properly dressed in the morning not only helps to establish a better work routine but also ensures you look presentable on video calls. Wearing professional clothes, makeup and jewelry can help you to switch into work mode and even improve your performance. Once you’re ready for the camera, the right lighting can enhance your appearance on screen and ensure that you and any work you are presenting is clearly visible to your colleagues. Although largely used by Youtubers and other content creators, portable and adjustable streaming lights are also useful for brightening up dark home offices on a video call.
Protecting Sensitive Material
As well as presenting yourself clearly and professionally, there may be times when you don’t want your face or background to be seen. On video apps such as FaceTime and Microsoft Teams it’s possible to blur your background, hiding an untidy living room, or, more importantly, disguising potentially sensitive information which may be on view behind you.
Setting your camera and audio to off by default can also save embarrassment before you officially enter a meeting. When you need to join in, simply press your keyboard’s spacebar to quickly unmute your microphone.
Making Yourself Heard
Even if your appearance is perfect, meetings and conferences will be pointless if your colleagues can’t hear you distinctly. As well as knowing how to quickly mute or unmute a call, one of the best ways to improve the sound quality of your meetings and conferences is by using an external microphone. Your PC or laptop will recognize a plug in USB mike and automatically install its driver. The result is a richer sound that is focused on your voice without picking up disruptive background noise.
Taking the time to prepare for virtual meetings and conferences means that you can focus on your work without worrying about whether your colleagues and clients can see or hear you properly.