There is no doubt that if you are working from home during COVID 19, you are having Zoom video conference meetings almost every day, no? If you own your own business, do you find yourself using platforms like Zoom to conduct your client meetings? I love Zoom and have been using it for five years. I wouldn’t call myself a pro, but I’m pretty close to it (insert humble brag.) Enough about me though…
Do you feel like you’ve been thrown into the world of video conferencing with no guidance? Instead of zooming through the video conferencing highway, do you feel like you’re on a bumping car course? If you feel this way, I won’t tell anyone. In fact, your secret is safe with me. I will help you with my top ten rules for video conferencing. Follow these rules and you’ll show up like a superstar! Let’s jump into the rules, shall we?
Top 10 Rules of Video Conferencing
- Appearance: Although this is a virtual meeting, you should present your best self. I suggest you wear bright, solid colored tops. This is a general rule for tv appearances that you should abide by as well. Jewel tone colors are welcoming and help you to stand out from others. Consider these colors: red, blue, yellow, green, fuchsia, etc. Your hair should be neat and out of your face. Ladies, some make up and a bold lip are fine to wear. These things help you to pop off the screen. When selecting a top, stay away from revealing necklines. They’re distracting …let’s just leave that there, ok? Look in the mirror before you go live.
- Background: Your background should be neat. Remove anything that could be a distraction. For example, naked statues, naked portraits, blinking lights, piles of laundry or anything that would make someone pay more attention to your background than you. Stay away from backgrounds with your children running back and forth or a busy highway that can be seen and heard through your window.
- Background Noise: Make sure you are in a relatively quiet space. I live down the street from a hospital and blaring ambulances drive by often. I have to be mindful of this. I suggest you wear earbuds to drown out some of the noise. A good rule of thumb is to mute yourself upon entering a meeting and to only unmute yourself to contribute to the meeting. If everyone does this, it will help the meeting to flow better and provide a clean replay if it’s being recorded.
- Lighting: Lighting is EVERYTHING!!! If you don’t own a professional light kit, simply use the best lighting: natural sunlight. In order to do this, find a window in your home. You should face the window as if you’re looking out of it. Place your laptop, phone or camera in front of you so that the camera lens faces you. Do NOT do the opposite. If your back is towards the window and your camera is facing you, the sunlight will cast a dark shadow over your face. If you don’t have access to a window or it’s during the evening, you can also use a lamp with soft white bulbs to light you pretty evenly. Make sure your light source is ALWAYS in front of you, NEVER behind you.
- Sound: For the best sound, use earbuds. Make sure you speak clearly and enunciate so everyone can understand what you’re saying.
- Energy: Your energy is magnified through video. Bring your best self to every meeting. Get your blood pumping by listening to your favorite song or doing some quick jumping jacks. Hype yourself up before the meeting. Check your posture: sit up straight, roll your shoulders back…no slouching. Smile before you go live. It all matters.
- Invest in a cell phone tripod: If you use your cell phone to video conference often, invest in a cellphone tripod. Depending upon the length of your meetings, your arm will get tired of holding your phone. Even if you prop your phone up, you may get unflattering angles of yourself. With a cell phone tripod, you can adjust the angles, position it in a good spot and have your hands free to take notes. I strongly recommend this one. Click here to check it out.
- Avoid Bad Angles: Remember this general rule of photography. Whatever is closest to the camera lens will be magnified. Ladies, be mindful of placing your lens at the same level as your chest area as you look down into the lens. The first thing we will see is your super sized chest area. That’s distracting. Don’t look down at the lens because when you do, we can see up your nostrils. Once again, that’s a distraction.
- Adjust the height of your laptop or camera: Your lens should be at eye level. To achieve this, sit your monitor or laptop on a 2 inch high pack of computer paper or a box. I also place an old photo album on top of this to sit my laptop upon it. This downward slant gives me a nice angle.
- Have an agenda: Have an agenda prepared BEFORE your meeting. Share it with your video participants at the beginning of the meeting so they know what to expect. Having an agenda helps you to stay focused, address key points, keep the meeting on task and manage the time well. Nobody likes drawn out, aimless meetings.
I hope you found value in my top ten tips for video conferencing. These are the basics, but if you adhere to them, you will be a superstar in your next video conferencing meeting.
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