Let’s face it, most of us weren’t very comfortable on video meetings prior to the pandemic. I know personally I would keep my camera turned off, and mute myself whenever I wasn’t speaking. Now that we’re a few months in, and most meetings are virtual and include video, I’ve become a lot more comfortable being on camera. Doing video meetings the right way can help you boost your image inside your company, and also impress your clients and prospects – if you do it right. Below are some of our favorite tips for boosting your image during video meetings.
Tip 1 – Be On-Time for your video meetings
Hint: On-Time means arriving 3-5 minutes early. You might run into audio or video problems, or even need to reboot. That way you can resolve those issues and still be on-time. Bonus: You won’t have to be the frazzled, less than professional guy (or girl) profusely apologizing for being late due to technical problems. Another bonus: Arriving early allows you some social time with other early birds, and helps foster those relationships.
Tip 2 – Use a Custom Background with your company logo
I know those Star Trek backgrounds are cool, but depending on your audience, they might not think it is so cool. What is sure to impress is using a custom background that includes your company logo. Having the logo on one side gives you room to fill the space on the other side. Creating a custom background for Teams or Zoom is easy to do.
Tip 3 – Lighting and Sound make a difference
The built-in microphone on your laptop lacks the quality that your voice deserves (and it easily picks up background noise). Use USB headsets with built-in microphone; decent quality headsets are available for about $25 to $50 (higher quality such as Sennheiser can cost $100 to $300). Speak clearly and professionally. Make sure your lighting is in front of you, instead of on your side or behind. Search Amazon.com for “video conferencing lighting” for an array of lighting options; many of these can be plugged directly into a USB port on your computer.
Tip 4 – Stay Engaged with the Camera
Check the height of your web cam. Too low, people are looking up your nose; too high, and it looks like your looking up at the sky. No one wants to see your ceiling. And, of course, stay engaged and look at the camera so it feels like you’re looking into their eyes. Be aware of looking at content that is on your 2nd monitor; this is the same as looking away, and looks to the attendees that you’re not engaged.
Tip 5 – Get Dressed!
Imagine walking into a business meeting with someone, and they are wearing a plain white t-shirt, the kind you might wear as an undershirt. Your first blush thought is probably something like, “Wow, not a very professional image on his part!”. That’s the same kind of thought that attendees could have if you dress down for your video meetings. So no t-shirts, pajamas, sweatshirts, etc. You don’t have to wear a suit, but at least your shirt should be similar to what you would wear in the office. Bonus: You’ll feel better about yourself when you get dressed!
Follow these tips to be a master of the video meeting, feel better about yourself, and impress your boss, clients, and prospects.