Video Meetings: 5 Hacks to Look Your Best
For Women AND Men!
Happy day, dear reader!
Here’s a wish that you are not only safe, sound, and maintaining your sanity, but even finding new ways to thrive! If you just celebrated Easter or are celebrating Passover, I pray it has been a time of peace and renewal for you. I feel like we’ve all been pushed out of our little boxes of complacency, and hope we can hold onto the good habits we are rediscovering. I see so many more people out in their yards talking with (at a safe distance) their neighbors. I’ve especially been loving the driveway (and yard) art that many families are creating! One house I walk past regularly has a stuffed bear in the yard that keeps changing location. It reminds me of those “Find the Differences” pictures from the funny papers!
Today’s post is unusual since it is geared toward women and men. Because the majority of the blog’s readers are women, most of my posts are geared towards women. Believe me, I have nothing against men. I married one and we have three (all grown). So, ladies, please feel free to share this post with your co-workers of any gender, and anyone else you know who is working remotely. (Hence the blue image today; I don’t want to scare the sensitive with pink!)
One: Lighting is key. Natural light from a window or diffuse light is best. Avoid bright overhead and under-lighting; they cause creepy shadows. Open your camera a few minutes before your meeting to check the lighting and other distracting visuals. (Fan blades rotating above your head. Piles of files behind you. Your child duct taped to the back wall of your office…)
Two: Check your angle! Make sure to look into the camera when speaking to your guest(s). Looking up slightly into your camera creates a more flattering view than looking down. Many people put their laptop on a coffee table or in their laps for video meetings. Please don’t; no one (except your ENT!) wants to look into another’s nostrils…
Three: A solid colored shirt or blouse is more video friendly than a patterned one. Narrow stripes (even vertical) are particularly distracting when transmission issues cause a jumpy feed. Avoid black as it can cast unflattering shadows; jewel tones flatter many. Choose a top that differs from your background. You aren’t a chameleon! (Warning: If you choose a Zoom background when you blend, you will end up with a floating head…)
Four: Since sound frequently fades on video calls, we focus intently on the lips and mouth. Make sure your teeth are clean and your lips moisturized. Don’t panic gentlemen, I’m not asking you to wear lipstick; slick on lip balm.
Five: Dress for a meeting. From the top to the bottom. Shoes, too. Please. You never know when you might have to stand up, or shift position. Last week I had the regrettable privilege (?) of seeing a man’s boxers when he leaned over to pick up a dropped pen. Yes, he was relaxed-business-dressed from the waist up. #thingsyoucantunsee
I have five more virtual-life style tips specific to women. If you are interested in seeing a post about them, do let me know! And remember, please share with anyone you know who is working or socializing on-line now that we’re all #socialdistancing. Otherwise, how are you holding up? Is this a strain? Are you loving your new normal? Or are you somewhere in between? Do let me know in the comments below… I love to hear from you!
Stay safe (#stayhome), sound, sane and stylish!
Leslie Susan Clingan
These are excellent tips. Had never thought about my teeth or my nostrils!!
My PC has been doing a lot of teleconferencing and the other morning, we overslept so he had to dash downstairs and turn on the computer, then while it was coming on, he took the world’s fastest shower, threw on something business casual on the top half and sweats on the bottom. Turned out they had trouble connecting and the meeting was postponed and he was able to get completely put together before they met up again.
My daughter works from home all of the time and I have tried to impress upon the importance of getting dressed as if she is working away from home. But she says that being comfy is one of the perks of a stay-at-home job. Ugh. Sadly, she has gained a lot of weight and I worry about her physical and mental health.
Thanks for the visit, Leslie! Everyone handles work from home differently. It’s hard with grown up children… The worry doesn’t go away, but any control we have evaporated years ago! What does concern me is the idea that there aren’t comfy work clothes. Everyone has a different definition of comfortable, but no one’s closet should have uncomfortable clothes. Especially for work!