Whether you’ve recently switched to remote employment or you’re a seasoned home-office worker, it’s no secret that looking professional and put-together on a video call can be difficult. We’ve all had the initial shock of flipping on our camera and feeling like we look way worse than we thought. Bad lighting, background distractions and poor WiFi can all contribute to an underwhelming experience. When you’re not worried about your appearance, you can focus on crushing that quarterly presentation or impressing your new client. To help you feel and look like the lady boss that you are, we’ve polled our team of veteran remote workers to put together a list of ten Zoom meeting tips.
1. Plan your Morning Routine
Don’t let a 30-second commute stop you from maintaining a vigilant morning routine. While it’s tempting to start your day in your bed or with coffee and PJs—don’t. Take time for yourself before jumping into your email inbox. Make a conscious effort to freshen up and get ready for the day.
Besides ensuring that you’ll look more polished in the event of a last-minute Zoom call, getting dressed will also help you feel more ready to tackle your to-do list. Take it from a long-time remote worker, getting out of your sleep clothes and getting ready in some sense (even if it’s switching into new, clean athleisure) will be a game-changer for your productivity. This creates a boundary between your personal life and time and your workday. Plus, no dashing to your closet like a mad-woman when someone pings you to hop on a call.
2. Focus on Your Top
Prints and busy clothing (think too many accessories, layers, scarves, etc.) can often come across as excessive or distracting on camera. While it might have been a cute look for heading into the office, when you’re only a floating torso to your team, simple is better.
Opt for neutral colors or subtle patterns to ensure the focus stays on you, not your outfit.
If you want to add a bit of polish, try wearing a top with a statement sleeve (but still neutral colored). Alternatively, for those serious meetings, pop on a blazer over your tee or tank. Check out some of these tops for inspo.
To better hone in on your personal style, enlist the help of a subscription service for curated looks.
3. Find Good Lighting
Lighting is a magical tool that can even complexion, brighten your eyes and improve the quality of your video stream. The best part is that you don’t need professional equipment to get the perfect setup! Place your laptop or computer screen near a window to naturally brighten the video feed. You can also put a desk or floor lamp behind your workspace. The idea is to have the light illuminating your face.
Avoid having a window or lighting source directly behind you. This will cause backlighting, shadows and glares, making it even more difficult for participants to see you.
If you’re on a ton of calls and there’s no great spot in your house with natural lighting, consider investing in ring-lighting.
4. Adjust the Camera Angles
Have you ever been on a Zoom meeting with someone and you can see more of their ceiling than them? This is a common dilemma as many people place laptops on their laps or desk and angle their screen and camera upwards—creating an unflattering view for all in involved.
The right camera angle can make all the difference. Purchase a laptop or computer stand to raise your camera to eye-level. For a quick hack, you can also prop your computer on a stack of books or a box for video meetings.
5. Leverage Video Backgrounds
Did you forget to clean up your home office? Have kids running around in the background? Does your remote workspace double as a laundry room? We’ve all been there and we get it.
Leverage Zoom’s video background feature to effectively hide distractions and eliminate the stress of worrying about what’s going on behind you. You could even talk with your organization’s graphic designers and see if they can provide branded backgrounds for your client meetings.
6. Opt for a Low Key Makeup Look
While one of the perks of working from home is low-maintenance beauty routines, a webcam can be somewhat unforgiving to a bare face. When you have an important meeting or interview, use some strategic bits of makeup to brighten up and bring out your best features. It doesn’t have to be a full-faced ordeal. Instead, try:
- A bold but still professional lip color
- A bit of under-eye concealer (those bags can look even worse with computer lighting)
- A quick swipe of bronzer or blush to give your face some more color
7. Upgrade Your Tech
This is one of those obvious but often forgotten Zoom meeting tips. Your camera and WiFi connection can dramatically improve the quality of video that meeting participants see. Upgrade your technology to reduce digital distractions like choppy video or sound. Additionally, make sure to clean your camera lens regularly.
Learn about more WFH accessories to level up your home office.
8. Catch a Good Night’s Sleep
Proper rest not only helps you feel prepared to take on the day, but it can improve your physical appearance, too! According to research, lack of sleep is connected with red and swollen eyes, dark circles and increased wrinkles. Set up a sleep schedule that allows you to accomplish your to-do list and still get a full eight hours of rest.
9. Create an Intentional Workspace
We are a product of the environments we inhabit. If you’re in a comfortable space, you’ll naturally feel more relaxed and ready to slay that next meeting. Design your workspace as a culmination of productivity and personal interests to help you feel your best.
For example, I love an uncluttered workspace with lots of plants. It makes me feel calm and centered. On rainy days, when the weather impacts my mood, I make sure to switch on more lamps and light a few candles to create a cozier vibe.
Even if it’s part of the desk that your Zoom meeting participants can’t see, it will still make *you* feel better and, therefore, more focused and natural while on video calls.
10. Be Yourself
Even if it’s cliché advice, remember that your company or client hired you for a reason! Zoom meeting tips are important, but they’re all designed to help you feel better. If you get in your head about how you look, you’ll forget to simply be yourself. When you choose to be you, your authenticity will translate through the camera and your video call will be a success.
Lastly, for Zoom meeting tips, remember to look at the camera (not just yourself) and react with gestures and all, how you normally would in an in-person meeting. Don’t let webcams dull your shine or personality.
Good luck on those Zoom calls, ladies!