Companies have worked with clients or employees located around the globe for decades. However, these people often become just a voice on the phone or an email. With advanced video conferencing, such as that offered by the Blue Jeans Network, companies can now bring people’s faces back to the conference room.
However, this adds pressure on those who are used to only emailing or phoning in for meetings: looking great. Using a high-definition camera with the capabilities of a large bandwidth is important to making sure you look great, rather than grainy. There are also preparations you can do to ensure you look great on camera and impress your clients or co-workers.
Dress to Impress
Just as when you meet in person, what you wear matters, whether you work from your home or are in an office conducting a virtual meeting with a client. However, unlike when you meet in person, you have more to consider how your clothing will appear on screen. Patterns, especially those with a lot of lines, can become fuzzy and hurt the eye when the camera captures them. Therefore, you should focus on wearing plain clothes, which can be colourful. You can never go wrong with the basic earth tones, although you do not want too much black, nor do you want to wear colours that will wash you out. Soft colours work best on camera, such as blues.
If you have a really important meeting, check what your chosen outfit will look like beforehand, with the help of a friend. You can video chat while wearing the chosen outfit to see if it looks great onscreen, or is distracting or unflattering. You might be tempted to wear makeup. If you do, do not wear heavy, dark colors, as it can actually make you look worse on screen. Light, natural colors work best.
Don’t Forget Eye Contact
One of the easiest things to forget during a virtual meeting is to make eye contact with the other attendees. You might be too focused on your computer, looking at the presentation or your notes. Alternatively, the icon on your computer of your own picture, or those of others, might easily distract you. It is easy to forget that the camera is in a different location than where you want to look, so you end up always looking away from the people to whom you are speaking. Therefore, make an effort from time to time to focus on the camera, making eye contact with the other person or people attending the meeting. Eye contact creates an emotional connection and is an important non-verbal communication, and should be done at least 60 to 70 percent of the time, according to a study by Quantified Impressions.
Pay Attention to the Location
When you set up your virtual meeting, pay attention to what the room in which you will meet looks like, as well as yourself. The surrounding area can enhance how well you look, but it can also make you look worse. You want to ensure that the lighting is really good. Never have the lighting behind you, nor directly overhead. The best lighting will be warm, diffused, and avoid fluorescent and industry-strength lighting, according to a Yahoo Tech interview with YouTube star Michelle Phan. You also want to have a flattering camera angle. Never have the camera looking at you from below; the best angle will be level with your face. Using a high definition camera will also ensure that you look great, and a video conferencing application such as Blue Jeans Network will have the speed to share the video without losing any of the definition. You also want to rid the conference room or you table of any clutter. Just as you want to look professional, you also want your work area to look so as well, which includes ensuring that everything else that the camera sees is appropriate.
Posture, Posture, Posture
You want to make sure to have a good posture, just as you would in real life. A confident stand will show those with whom you meet that you know what you are talking about. By having a straight back and shoulders, you will be telling the others that you are confident and in control, according to Psychology Today. There is no reason to be informal, just because the meeting is done virtually. You should stand or sit up straight, look directly in the camera, and hold yourself well. Also, do not forget that the camera will see anything you do. If the meeting drags on for too long, do not be tempted to start to yawn or fall asleep, as the others can see you. It is easy to look great when conducting virtual meetings.