With Zoom becoming a major way that meetings and networking get done in the COVID-19 landscape, here are a few tips to make sure you put your best foot forward when you take your professional interactions online.
Camera Angle: Place the camera slightly above eye level for the most flattering angle. If you’re using a laptop, you may need to raise it up by putting some books underneath it—just ensure it’s stable and won’t move once your session begins. When it’s your turn to speak, look directly at the camera—right above the person(s) on screen. When someone else is speaking, look at them
Social Distancing (on Zoom too!): Position yourself a comfortable distance from the camera, approximately 3-4 feet. Avoid leaning in too closely. You can gesture as you norally would, just don’t bob around too much, which can be distracting for viewers.
Lighting: Avoid being backlit (no window or bright light behind you), so that you don’t look like a dark silhouette. Position yourself so that your face is evenly lit with natural light (or overhead light that’s not too harsh), if possible.
Audio: Remove yourself from an environment with ambient noise. Use your computer’s built-in speakers for quality and ease. If using a phone, put it on speaker, don’t hold it up to your ear—and be sure the computer mic is turned off to avoid interference.
Backdrop: Use this opportunity to say something about yourself, but keep it professional. Bookshelves, artwork that’s not too distracting or a wall painted with a solid color are good backdrops to consider.
Relax and Smile: Get comfortable in front of the camera and let people see you are happy to be there.
Internet Connection: Always check your connection before joining a meeting. Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi and located near the router for the fastest connection. Keep your phone handy just in case.
Remove Distractions (and potentially sensitive material): Close out of all documents, email and other applications before you join the meeting.
Fist Bumps: For meetings with colleagues and employees, virtual fist bumps go a long way to build unity and togetherness!