When you’re video conferencing with people who work and live in faraway locations, you don’t have an opportunity to impress them with your charming personality over lunch or pull them aside to make some candid comments to help them see your zeal for the project. Your on-camera interactions are the only possible way the people on the other end of the video conference have to pass judgement on you — and your company.
That’s the reason why looking great on video conferencing is so significant. While people perhaps should not judge one another on looks alone, looks actually matter when you’re communicating over distance using state-of-the-art technology.
Here are seven great tips for always looking your very best when you interact via video conference:
1. Use a high-quality system. Good equipment conveys light, sound & detail better than bad or outdated gear, so upgrade your system as frequently as necessary to stay on top of technology. Today’s video conferencing solutions often have high-definition cameras, top quality mics and professional switching technology to make each one of your interaction smooth, colourful and bright.
2. Don’t skimp on light. There is a reason TV stations and local theatres hire people to help them control lighting. Bright lights reduce the look of wrinkles and eliminate unbecoming shadows, but too much light can make you look shiny & nervous. Heaps of soft, white light usually works best, and there isn’t a lot wrong with strategically placing lights behind PCs or concealing them around the room when necessary to make everybody look their best.
3. Make eye contact as often as possible. It’s easy for people to feel disconnected or disengaged when listening to a long presentation by video conference, so make frequent eye contact with the camera. This is good etiquette, too , just as eye contact is vital when meeting with people face to face.
4. Avoid wearing distracting patterns. With older equipment, tight patterns can make a distracting strobe effect that might be more interesting to the people on the other end of the conference than what you are saying. Regardless of if you’re using the latest equipment nevertheless , viewers won’t be in a position to appreciate the pattern on your tie or your interesting piece of jewelry, so stick to solids and simple, elegant adornments.
5. Sit up straight if you can. We all look more professional when we sit up straight and keep our shoulders back, but good posture can sometimes be hard to maintain during a long meeting. Selecting a supportive chair and being mindful of when you are being watched and when you aren’t can help you look your finest when somebody’s actually looking.
6. Be conscious of camera angles. An expertly installed video conferencing system will have well-placed cameras, but sitting or standing too close to a camera can distort your features, giving you a humourous & distracting appearance. Looking down into a camera can also make your face appear broader, making you look fat.
7. Do some testing. If a meeting is extremely important or if you are new to video conferencing, do some test presentations — and record them to help notice and correct errors. Even the best equipment can be used incorrectly or to less-than-optimum effect, so take a little time to test how you interact with your company’s equipment to be certain you’re using it as effectively as possible.
Everyone would like to look great, naturally, but in business looking good can mean a really significant difference between making the sale and making a fool of yourself.
Paul Fraser, owner of AVT Solutions, writes about everything related to video conferencing solutions and other business communication issues in an effort to help entrepreneurs around the globe make better connections. Better connections mean more sales and improved customer relations.