Camera tips for online meetings, video calls and webinars
Video calls are a very convenient alternative to face-to-face meetings and that is why it is important to look as professional as possible. Surely you want the message to get across and look at your best at the same time?
Here are 5 crucial tips to nail your next Zoom or Teams meeting.
1. Camera, lights, action!
The most problematic for online video meetings? The lighting.
Check the lighting situation in the room where you make the video call. Are you sitting with your face to the window or with your back to the window? If possible, try to change the setup so that you face the window. This will give you a lot of natural light, and it will help you look really sharp on camera.
Is there no natural light present? Then you can use a desk lamp, but be careful not to look like a ghost. How to work with artificial light and which pitfalls to avoid can be seen in the video below.
2. Avoid the 'nostril perspective'
Place the camera at eye level. Set up your laptop, tablet or phone camera so that it comes approximately straight in front of your eyes. If the camera is too low, your audience will mainly see the ceiling and your nostrils. Not really a flattering image. Stack a few books under your webcam or tablet until the camera is at the right angle. This way you also make better eye contact with the others.
3. Choose a neutral background
You want people to focus on what you have to say, not what they see behind you. So avoid a busy or messy background: a desk full of trash and piles of paper, a kitchen worktop with pots and plants, the flower wallpaper with a busy painting ... These are all elements that will distract the attention and of your conversation partners. So try to place your camera in front of a neutral background such as an plain wall. Possibly you can also use a virtual background, but also make sure you choose a soothing and professional image.
4. Pick the right attire
Get dressed and get ready for the meeting, as you usually would. Follow your work routine and choose an outfit as if you were attending a face-to-face meeting. Avoid clothes that are too dark, such as black or gray. But also watch out for too bright colors or patterns like checks or stripes. These can create the so-called moiré effect, where these patterns will shimmer or vibrate, creating a very disturbing image. Tip: test your outfit before you start the meeting.
5. Make a strong impression
Because of the stress or the lighting, your face can start to shine or look sweaty. The sensitive areas are your forehead, nose and chin. Ladies can solve this problem with makeup, but also with men a little powder, applied strategically, can do wonders. Of course you want to look as professional as possible for that important video call.
In the video below, communication coach Lies Martens gives concrete tips to make a strong impact in front of the camera.
More info: Camera training for video calls