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. Light from in front of you, not behind. 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 to focus 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.
Look at the camera, or at least the upper half of your screen (because the camera is everyone else at the meeting). Eye contact is the best connection.
Looking at the screen shows you’re paying attention. (It’s okay to drink a beverage or look down briefly to take notes. ) Any other member who has checked zoom’s Gallery View, can see your rectangle.
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
Join with your name, not your device’s name. 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, do one of the following (otherwise your name might appear as “My iPhone” or “My Samsung” or ???):
- 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.
- hover over your rectangle, click on the three dots, select Rename and type in your name
Send a Message
Click the Chat icon at the bottom of your screen to open a Chat window. You can then message the Host, a specific person, or Everyone.
Please do not connect to the meeting from two devices in the same room as this creates problematic feedback. If you need to use separate devices, please do it from different rooms.
These are good for getting started. Check out YouTube Zoom videos if you want more.