Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. With COVID-19 taking over the world, and lockdown measures implemented, work video calls have become the new norm rather than an option. Those days are long gone when work-related video calls would be one odd affair; with work from home (WFH)
going on a full scale, video calls have become a regular affair, and with that looking good in them has become equally important.
But not many know how to do that. To help you out, we have highlighted the most commonly made mistakes during work calls and how to improve them along with your smart gadgets so you can look better and take the call with confidence.
Lighting is the Key
It's all about lighting when it comes to video calls. As long as you get the light right, a major chunk of looking good can be taken care of. Overhead lighting or backlighting is one of the worst kinds of lighting for video conferences, as it makes you look dark. You can opt for natural light, so open the window and let nature takes it course. Another option would be to have the light source right in front of you. In case that doesn't work, you can always use your screen, adjust the brightness, and fix the angle to not be right under your face, and you'll be good to go.
In case of any doubt, follow the rules of selfies, if the camera is not flattering your face during a picture-taking session, it sure wouldn't be flattering on video.
Change the Angle
This one needs to be said out loud – the camera needs to be in front and at eye level; there is just no other way around it as that's the most flattering angle for anyone. But with that being said, it is true that none of our workstations are at eye level, and combined with the fact that we are using the laptop camera, it is not very helpful. This is where our old books come in handy, stack them on top of one another, or use a high-rise stool to get the perfect angle.
While you do this, make sure that in any of those angles, you are not being looked down upon or looked up at by the other person.
Our personal suggestion, get a tripod to help yourself out for the angle.
Dress for the Part
The best part about working from home is the 'no dress code policy.' You can be in your PJs and no one would give you grief about it but with frequent work video calls that may no longer work for you, especially if you want to be taken seriously. That's why it's always best to throw on a decent pair of clothes that will help you look presentable but also get you in the work mode. And in case you have to move around during the call, you don't have to be embarrassed about your Panda PJs as you would be looking totally professional in your work pants.
Find your Best Headphones
One of the most important aspects of taking a work video call is a quiet environment with no distraction. But that's not always possible, especially in this situation, as so many of us are working from home. So, the second-best option is to get your headphones or earphones. Most headphones have a better mic than your laptop/computer, and that improves the call exponentially. And if they come with noise cancellation or isolation even better.
Also, as an act of courtesy, keep your mic on mute unless you are talking to keep the noise at a minimum.
Our suggestion would be to go for Noise Shots XO wireless earphones or any of the Bluetooth earphones, they look smart and get the job done. Our suggestion would be to go for Noise Shots XO wireless earphones. They look smart and get the job done.
Test your Call
Work video calls are equivalent to showing up for work, so it's always better to be prepared rather than checking your appearance and your surroundings during the call. Most of the video conferencing apps have the preview video option before connecting to give you an idea as to how you would look before the call and its highly recommend to do that so that you don't change your angle mid-presentation. However, once the call starts, choose to hide the preview yourself so that you don't distract yourself by constantly fidgeting and fixing your hair.
Hide the Mess
With many of us taking work calls on a fairly regular basis, we suddenly realize that the mess that we have been living in and taking for granted and would be up for minute scrutiny by your colleagues, and we certainly don't want that. There is no point in losing your mind and your precious time cleaning it up when you can simply hide it.
If your company, like many others, is using the famous video conferencing app – Zoom then you are in a bit of luck as you can just change the background by using the Zoom's Virtual Background feature and hide the fact about your non-existent cleaning skills.
Just like during face to face meetings, it is not idle to move around much too much; the same is applicable in work meetings. So, choose a corner that you are most comfortable in, set up your system with charging cable all plugged in for low battery signs, keep your notes ready, get something to hydrate yourself in case the meeting gets extended, and start the video call.
So, there you have it. With these pointers in tow, you are better prepared for the next video call, and in case you think any of your colleagues need a few pointers, you can always direct them towards this link.
Stay home, stay safe, people