Video conferencing has become the new normal in the home office and for remote work. The use of video conferencing is diverse: Companies use Zoom meetings for team meetings, customer meetings as well as for online job interviews, schools and parents implement homeschooling with online lessons via videoconferencing, online lectures of universities are held e. g. via BigBlueButton.
Video conferencing has become an integral part of our everyday lives, whether at work, at school or in our private lives. Online meetings have become a tangible option to face-to-face meetings.
While no formalities need to be considered for private video conferences with friends or family, certain rules apply to professional and school online meetings in the home office, for example in Zoom, Google Meet, Officery CONNECT or Microsoft Teams, and you should pay attention to them. If you disregard these rules, you will quickly give the impression of being unprofessional and disorganized.
In this post, we've summarized 5 tips for making a professional impression in video conferences for you. We'll not only show you which equipment you need for your video conference from the home office, but we'll also go into detail about how you can best position your light and your webcam. With these easy-to-implement tips, you'll not only come across as experienced, but you'll also leave a professional impression on the people you're talking to!
- Tip 1: Put yourself in the best light
- Tip 2: Get on eye level with our webcam
- Tip 3: The right background emphasizes your skills
- Tip 4: Adopt a professional posture
- Tip 5: Consider dress codes
1. Show yourself in the best light
The lighting of the room in which the video conference is held affects not only the image quality, but also your charisma.
If the room is too dark, there is often image noise and you are hardly recognizable for your conversation partner. But an overexposed room also has a negative impact on the quality of the image and on your charisma.
This makes you look pale. Ceiling lamps can also cast unattractive shadows on your face, especially under your eyes and chin. This is not optimal.
It is therefore important to create a pleasant lighting atmosphere. Ideally, a natural light source should illuminate your face directly from the front. In daylight, you should position yourself directly in front of the window. This means that your face should face the window and your laptop, smartphone or webcam should be positioned directly in front of the window.
However, if the online meeting takes place early in the morning, late in the evening or even at night, an external light source can help. This can also be used if you don't have a suitable room with windows or sufficient lighting available. By the way: In our online store, we offer various lighting solutions for a soft, eye-friendly illumination of your room. If don't have video conferences often, we recommend our LED ring light.. With an extendable stand, you can easily store the ring light. If you have a fixed workspace and want to create an even better light quality and feel-good atmosphere, we recommend the Elgato lighting. You can either place it on your desk like a normal desk lamp or attach it to the side of your desk.
2. Get On Eye Level With Your Webcam
The camera plays an essential role in online meetings. Here, it is not only important to use a high-quality webcam, but also to make optimal use of the camera's position and orientation. Probably the most unfavorable positions are camera angles from above or below. Therefore, the camera should be at eye level. This is how the person you are talking to would see you in real life.
This allows you to maintain eye contact with the other person and to not look down or up at them. To achieve this, you can, for example, place your laptop on a stack of books or attach your webcam to the top of your monitor.
The Logitech Streamcam, is particularly well suited for this. This webcam includes a monitor mount and a tripod adapter, which makes it easy to find the perfect camera position in every video conference.
The distance to the camera should also be appropriate. Sitting too close to the lens can lead to image distortion. You will find the optimal distance when there is still a little free space above your head and your upper body is only visible to the middle of your chest.
By the way, you can test whether you have found the perfect camera position in Zoom or Microsoft Teams before your online meeting. Here you have the option to view the camera image before the conference starts!
3. The Right Background Emphasizes Your Skill
Not only you, but also the area behind you - i.e. your background - have their own charisma. Therefore, you should also take a critical look at it and prepare it especially for your online meeting.
Untidy backgrounds with empty pizza boxes or dishes make you look disorganized, messy and not very professional. Even completely white or black walls don't help you make a good first impression.
Make sure to choose a background that is as tidy and appealing as possible. Bookshelves or a virtual background are best suited for this. With virtual backgrounds you can present yourself at your best to business partners and customers in Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc., while protecting your privacy at the same time. By the way, in our online shop you will find a selection of virtual backgrounds, which we can customize with your own logo. Try out our free virtual background generator without any obligation.
Here a some of our modern office backgrounds:
Extra tip: Prepare your environment in advance for the online meeting. By providing drinks and writing utensils, you avoid having to leave the room during the conference. This makes an additional organized impression on your counterpart!
4. Adopt a professional posture
Nothing looks more bored to your conversation partners than a stooped posture or even leaning back in the chair. If you also rest your head on your hand, the bad impression is complete.
So adopt an upright sitting posture. Make sure to stretch your back and ima
In addition, as already mentioned in the second tip, you should always be at eye level with the camera and maintain eye contact with your conversation partner. This shows your counterpart that you are interested in him.
5. Consider dress codes
In video conferences within our own four walls, we all quickly tend to sit down in front of the camera in a sleep shirt and with unmade hair. However, it is especially important here to dress appropriately for a natural, but at the same time professional appearance. This not only helps you to get into "work mode", but also makes a good first impression on your conversation partner.
However, don't overdo it! Pantsuits and jackets can be too much for an online meeting from home and can make you look untrustworthy. You should also avoid small patterns - these can cause the so-called moiré effect, which can lead to flickering on your clothes. You should also leave very light-colored clothes in your closet, as they might reflect the light strongly.
For a natural look in a video conference, plain blouses or shirts in muted, pastel tones are best.
Most importantly, you have to feel comfortable.Remember: Your counterpart can recognize it, if you're just putting on a mask or if you're really you!
Conclusion: Ensure a Professional Impression in Online Meetings
Especially last year, we learned that a lot can go wrong in a video conference. Most of us were not professionally trained in the use of technology and the right appearance and have little experience in having an online meeting.
This often results in avoidable mistakes that can damage one's own reputation and external perception which cannot be rectified easily.
The 5 tips we've mentioned therefore serve as a guideline and support for you to appear more confident in upcoming virtual conferences. With the help of these easy-to-implement tips, you will be able to avoid minor mistakes and generally feel more confident in dealing with technology.
You will be perceived as competent by your conversation partners, no matter if boss, colleagues or your own family, and you will always leave a professional impression!