Updated: Mar 23
As the modern-day world continues to navigate the hybrid business environment, video calls have become a vital part of the business world. With remote work becoming more common, professionals are now connecting with colleagues, clients, and partners from all over the world through video calls. As such, it has become increasingly important to look professional on video calls.
The way you present yourself during a video call can leave a lasting impression on the person on the other end of the line. Depending on who and what research you look at, first impressions are made between 1/10 of a second to 1 minute. Research from NYU suggests that within the first seven seconds of a meeting, most people have already made 11 major decisions about who they think you are. As a business professional, it is important to ensure that you come across as credible, trustworthy, and professional. Let’s discuss some tips for looking professional on video calls.
Just because you are working from home does not mean that you should dress in a casual or relaxed manner during video calls. Dress as you would for an in-person meeting. Choose clothing that is represent you, your company brand as well as your personal brand can add to your credibility and authenticity. Dressing appropriately demonstrates that you take the call seriously and it creates a positive impression on the other person.
Use Good Lighting, Sound and Camera
Make sure that you are well-lit during the call, with the light source in front of you. Avoid backlighting, as it can make it difficult for others to see you. If you wear glasses, make sure your lighting is not reflecting in your glasses. People need to see our eyes to trust us, especially on video calls. Ensure that you have a good microphone and if your environment has a lot of hard surfaces and is in a large open area, the use of headphones or earbuds can help to avoid any feedback or echo. Additionally, having a good external camera placed at your eye level with allow you to appear as though you are looking at the person you are meeting with vs. looking down on them. An external camera will also give a much clearer image of you through the lens as if you were meeting in person.
Have a Tidy Background
Choose a clean, tidy background for your video call. It should be free from clutter and personal items that may be distracting. If possible, set up your call in an area with a neutral background, such as a plain wall with a plant to help add quick texture, depth, and dimension to your presence without being distracting. This helps keep the focus on you and the conversation, rather than your surroundings.
During a video call, avoid multitasking or doing anything that may be distracting. Avoid looking at your phone or computer, unless the meeting calls for such action, as it can be noticeable and disrespectful to the other person. Additionally, try to stay engaged in the conversation and avoid being too passive or disinterested. Ask yourself, “Would I do that if I was physically live in a conference room sitting across the table from this person?”
In conclusion, as a business professional, looking professional on video calls is important. Dress appropriately, use good lighting, sound, camera, and choose a tidy background. Avoid multitasking and stay engaged in the conversation. These tips will help you create a positive and professional impression on the person on the other end of the lens, and ultimately help you to build a stronger professional relationships.
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