Look at your rectangle!!
BE CRITICAL. Your rectangle is your presence at the meeting. Are you projecting the image you want? Wimpy and anonymous or present and participating?
You’ll understand better once you’ve analyzed yourself and others in a zoom meeting.
This is the most important aspect to looking good on camera. One of the biggest mistakes is sitting in front of a bright window or lamp. Since it’s behind you, it has the effect of causing the camera to underexpose and create a dark silhouette.
Your most flattering lighting comes from a light (artificial or natural) behind your camera within an arc of + – 30 degrees. (The light from the computer screen just isn’t enough.)
Control Your Background
Pay attention to what’s behind you. You want people focusing on your face not your clutter.
You can try out ahead of time what others will see by using the selfie camera on your phone.
You might also create a virtual background. Click the little arrow next to Start/Stop Video and choose Virtual Background (it will only appear if your computer supports this feature). You can choose one of Zoom’s defaults or a photo that’s on your computer. Be careful though. This is based on green screen technology and, if you’re wearing green or your background has a lot of green, funny things can happen.
Position your camera at eye level or slightly above — a pile of books or a box helps here.
- Up your nose, or a lot of neck, is not the best angle.
- Are you filling the screen or showing mostly ceiling and walls? All too often people show up as a tiny partial face at the bottom of their rectangle.
- And, if you’re using a phone or tablet, it shows best if held horizontally.
Your rectangle is your presence at the meeting.
Clothes that are bright and solid work best on camera.
When speaking, look at the camera (because the camera is everyone else at the meeting). Eye contact is the best connection. When others are speaking, look at the screen and look interested — especially if there are only a few people in the meeting. (It’s okay to drink a beverage or look down briefly to take notes. )
Make sure to speak into the mic. And turn off the TV and other distractions — they’ll come through surprisingly loud and clear.
An accessory mic will give better sound than your laptop mic.
Your Name Tag
It’s great for putting names and faces together. When you join a meeting you sometimes get a box that asks for your name or shows it already filled in. This is your Name Tag that appears with your rectangle. If you don’t see your name here or with your image, once in the meeting click on the Participants icon to open the list. Then hover over the three dots to the right of your name, select Rename and type in your name. Otherwise your name might appear as “My iPhone” or “My Samsung” or ???
These are good for getting started. Check out YouTube Zoom videos if you want more.