Even if you are admittedly “old-school” and prefer face-to-face communication, chances are that you will one day have to turn to video conferencing to stay in touch with colleagues and clients.
You may think video conferencing doesn’t demand the same level of polish you would bring to an in-person interview or client meeting, but the visual impact is still very much the same.
We have come up with six top tips to help you make the best impression during a video-conference.
- Light it up : Lights and angles are just as essential in video conferencing as they are for photo shoots and selfies. As a general rule, avoid fluorescent lights as they can be harsh and cast unflattering shadows. Place your primary light source behind the camera, this way your light and your camera are both pointing in the same direction.
- Choose a neutral background: Whether you are conducting your video conference at home or in a formal office, make sure your background is always professional. Less is more. In other words, you may be fond of all those family pictures hanging on the wall but the person on the other side of the camera may find them distracting.
- Dressing for your videoconference: Choose solid, bold colors. Simple jewelry is best. Ladies, avoid earrings that dangle or any accessories that makes noise when you move. For most video conference calls, you can wear whatever you want from the waist down -unless you think you might need to stand up for some reason, though I feel if you’re going to rock a power suit on top, pj or tracksuit bottoms wont help you feel your at your most professional or empowered best.
- Maintain good eye contact: You will look like a complete novice if you are not looking directly at the camera during the video conference, always imagine the person is in the room with you. You wouldn’t keep looking at the floor or out the window if it was an actual face to face meeting would you?
- Get the best audio visual: If you do a lot of video conferences, consider investing in an external webcam with high definition capabilities. Depending on your surroundings, you may want to use a headset during your call. However, a video chat without headphones looks more natural, and in my opinion more professional.
- Keep your notes nearby: A top tip I once read was, if you ever need to look at some notes during your video conference, jot them down and tape them next to your camera so you’re not shuffling with pieces of paper during the meeting. It helps you stay on track also in case you get a little nervous and forget what you were going to say.
Even if you feel nervous about video conferencing, remember that practice makes perfect. Once you get the hang of being in front of the camera, you will have mastered yet another invaluable business skill-the art of the video conference.