“Knowing how to appear on Zoom can make the difference between people ignoring you and taking you seriously.” - Kat Milner, Simplify Your Tech
Mastering the Art of Looking Good on Zoom:
In today's digital age, virtual appearances matter more than ever. Whether you're attending work meetings, virtual events, or catching up with friends or loved ones, making a positive impression on platforms like Zoom has become a valuable skill.
Luckily, with a few key tips, you can enhance your virtual presence and put your best foot forward. In this guide, I'll walk you through the essential elements that contribute to looking your best on Zoom.
Here are 6 top tips to looking good on Zoom
Lighting can make or break your virtual appearance. Natural light is your best friend – ideally, position yourself facing a window to ensure a soft, flattering glow. If natural light isn't an option, invest in adjustable LED ring lights or desk lamps that provide even illumination.
Avoid harsh overhead lighting, as it can cast unflattering shadows.
Make sure to avoid having really bright lights or windows behind you. This can
Cause you to appear in silhouette (ie, your face is dark)
Light-sensitive viewers can actually develop migraines from looking at people with really bright lights in their zoom image
Camera placement significantly affects how others perceive you. Position your camera at eye level to create a natural and engaging connection with your audience.
Sit facing the camera directly, and make sure your head and shoulders are centered within the frame. Having about a fist-sized space between the top of your head and the top of the screen is just about perfect.
Don't be too close to the camera, or it can feel unsettling to viewers - think about what it's like when someone stands too close to you. Personal space exists online, too.
Don't be a floating head - when just your head is visible, it can actually be annoying to look at.
Experiment with angles to find the most flattering perspective.
A cluttered or inappropriate background can be distracting during a Zoom call.
Opt for clean, minimalistic backgrounds to ensure you're the focal point. Simple, plain walls with minimal pictures or other things like bookcases in the background.
If needed, use virtual backgrounds provided by Zoom or create your own professional backdrop. Just remember, simplicity is key.
One of the most distracting and annoying things is movement in a zoom meeting.
If you are on a phone, tablet, or laptop during the meeting and need to change your location, turn off your video while repositioning yourself. NO ONE needs or wants to see you walking around. The motion has been known to make people ill (similar to seasick).
Be conscious of things like ceiling fans in your background. At the least, the movement is distracting - at the worst, they can cause migraines for some viewers.
Remember - all movement draws the attention of viewers and takes it away from the Presenter.
If you are not speaking in a Zoom meeting, the etiquette is to mute yourself. This way, if your kids come in, dog barks, large trucks go by, or you blow your nose, the rest of the room won't hear it.
There are few things more annoying for a Presenter than to be in the middle of delivering valuable content, and suddenly someone is coughing or other noise starts happening.
This is a bit of a grey area, but I suggest erring on the side of caution.
It really isn't like sitting across from someone at a restaurant - it's much more "in your face" when you eat on Zoom.
Personally, I turn my camera off when I'm eating so the motion of me moving around doesn't distract anyone else.
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