How to Make Video Conferencing More Professional at Home
As the world adjusts to the ‘new normal’, many office employees can no longer continue to work as they once did. The familiar office routines have been replaced by home working, video conferencing and the inevitable struggles with technical difficulties.
However, as we grow accustomed to these new work arrangements, you could consider investing some time in your own digital appearance during video conferences. It doesn't take much and you can make a more professional impression with your colleagues, customers and partners.
Tip 1: Install the webcam at eye level
If you place the webcam underneath your eyes, the picture looks disadvantageous because you can see the chin and neck area. If it is installed above your eyes, you can see more of your head and forehead, which is also an unfavourable angle. But if the webcam is installed at eye level, you can see your face from the front, as you would see it in a personal meeting.
If you use the camera from the laptop, set the screen at a 90-degree angle if possible. If necessary, you can either raise the table or place the laptop on books to improve the camera position.
Tip 2: Look straight into the camera
We all tend to want to look the other person directly in the eye. However, this makes little sense in a video conference situation because the camera captures your eyes and not the screen. So avoid making it appear to the other participants that you are doing something else.
Tip 3: No window in the background
If a window is in the background, this will be lighter and as a result make you look darker in the foreground. Ideally, the window should face you. This will make your picture look much brighter and friendlier in the video conference. If it is not possible to prevent having the window in the background, simply close the curtains or lower the blinds for a better image.
Tip 4: Use external light for better picture quality
If the picture is still too dark, you can remedy the situation with external light. Ideally, you should use as white a light as possible so that the webcam image looks more natural.
Tip 5: Use an external webcam
If you have the option, use an external webcam instead of the built-in one – you will find that the quality is often significantly better in most cases. You can also use an external webcam to influence the shooting angle and camera position better.
Tip 6: Use an external microphone
As with using an external webcam, it is often the case that an external microphone will offer better all-round quality that what is built into your laptop. However, very few people will have access to an external microphone at home. We recommend that you use a headset or headphones with an integrated microphone, as your voice will be transmitted more clearly.
Tip 7: Pay attention to the background
To leave a professional impression, pay attention to your background surroundings. Ideally, it should have as few disruptive elements as possible. If necessary, create a small video conference corner in your home, or tidy up your workspace so that it is neat. After all, a calm background will draw attention to you and not your surroundings.
Tip 8: Sit upright
Having a stooped posture is neither beneficial for your back nor for your digital appearance. Find a comfortable seat in which you can sit up straight. The comfortable deck chair is definitely not the right choice for video conferencing.
Ideally, your back should not touch the back of the chair, just sit more upright during the meeting. This posture gives the impression that you are listening and actively participating in the video conference.
Tip 9: Dress appropriately
Clothes make the person and this statement certainly applies to video conferencing. Wearing a polo shirt or a full length shirt will leave a different impression than a hoodie or sports t-shirt, especially in important meetings.
You don't have to sit in front of the camera in a suit, but we definitely recommend a piece of clothing suitable for the meeting. Be careful with finely patterned shirts, otherwise the moiré effect will appear. We suggest wearing a simple plain shirt instead.
Nordic Commercial Director