Lights, Camera….Zoom Meeting- Sneaky Tricks & Tips.
Look like a PRO-dressing and presentation for online meetings.
Working from home, coddled by a dressing gown and easy fit pants may feel like the silver lining to the dark cloud blackening the skyline across the globe. But make no mistake when we emerge from our current lock-down, it will not be business as usual.
Everything will look and feel different. A new set of values and a new way of doing things will evolve.
Start a mental re-boot now, conducting work rolling around in a 3-day old T-shirt and sweat pants may temporarily provide the comfort of a swaddled baby but it will eventually send you into a vicious cycle of negative thoughts, behaviour, and unproductivity.
If you think appearance is superficial especially now, after all, who is going to see you? I invite you to reconsider. Clothes have an enormous impact on your psyche. Enclothed cognition is the power of clothes to alter the psychological state of the wearer. It follows therefore that what we choose to wear is not merely an aesthetic decision, our appearance sends an internal message as well, changing our mental state and in so doing setting the tone for the day.
Based on scientific studies Professor Pine author of Mind What You Wear maintains that not only do you adopt the characteristic of the clothes you wear but they also impact your ability and standard of work.
It’s time, therefore, to ditch the robe, comb the dishevelled hair, get up and get dressed.
Online meeting presentation tips:
Block plain colours and simple clean lines work best. Crazy clashing prints and stripes don’t translate well in front of the camera lens, patterns often become distorted and distracting.
Pitch the level of dress to the level of the meeting, a quick informal meeting with team members should look different from a formal high-level client meeting. You don’t need complete outfit changes to accomplish this. There are many quick and easy elevation fixes, such as putting on a jacket, a button-up shirt, a silk scarf, a piece of jewellery or lipstick.
Typically meeting participants view only your top half, if you are time-pressed focus on the upper body looking great, although it as to be said, dressed head to toe will make you feel great too.
In the professional model and TV world, makeup is heavier and more dramatic (even you guys get a dusting of powder to eliminate shine) because the camera always drains colour away from your face. Bear this in mind when applying makeup for online meetings. Selecting a bolder, brighter lipstick and the use of blush will help take you from ‘death warmed up’ to alive again. If you are still struggling and you use zoom, go to meeting settings and activate the Touch Up My Appearance button, sneaky but I like it.
If you can, create a space to set up your phone in a planned predetermined location, this way you will always have control of the angle, background, and lighting.
Keep yourself centre stage of the frame, there should be minimal ‘space’ above your head.
If you have a camera phone tripod, angle the phone slightly down, this is by far the most flattering angle to use, trust me this is a tried and tested truth. If you don’t have a tripod set up a space to position your phone for a straight-on view using books, a sturdy ornament, anything that works to position your phone in a stable position. This encourages you not to hold your phone in your hand, even a slight movement is a distraction plus hands-free means you can gesture and move naturally. Never angle the camera up, the number of chins you own will double and your eyes will adopt a bead-like quality.
A messy desk showcasing old coffee mugs and scattered papers is not the ideal background. If that’s the way you work you need to find an alternative. The zoom app has a virtual background feature, simply select one of the standard images offered or import your own, such as your office but in a tidy staged state (vases, flowers, photo frames strategically placed for a pleasing backdrop) – sneaky I know but it would make the virtual background less obvious. Failing that find a neutral backdrop such as a blank wall one meter by one meter and position yourself in front of that and fill the frame as much as possible with a head and shoulders shot.
This is tricky, do the best you can to minimize external noise. Closing a door or window can help. Most people will be sympathetic to unavoidable life noise going on around you.
Create a well-lit view of yourself. Position yourself in natural light if you can, a window to the front of you with your camera in between will evenly light your face. If a window is to the side it will light up half your face casting a shadow on the other half. This can be fixed by turning on a lamp and positioning it behind the camera on the shadow side to balance the light.
If you don’t have any natural light, avoid using a ceiling light, overhead lighting invariable results in a ghoulish-like appearance. Using two lamps either side and behind the camera will light your face more naturally and evenly, additional lamps in the room creating pools of light will take it one step further providing a warmer easy mood.
Implementing these tips may seem like a lot of effort but they are worth it and will work in your favour. Presenting yourself at your best boosts confidence and conveys the message you are a professional who is up, prepared and ready to do business.
Lights, camera, ACTION
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