How to Improve your Virtual Professional Appearance
By Kerri Garbis, CEO Ovation
Like it or loathe it, looking good and sounding good on camera is part of our professional routine nowadays. Assuredly, many of us will all continue to work in a virtual environment as part of the new normal. Zoom, Google Meet, and a whole host of cottage industry video platforms are here to stay as the way we connect to staff, clients, and professional colleagues across the globe. So, let’s polish up our professional presence.
Here are the top three things that you can adjust to appear your best on camera:
1. Lighting Lighting Lighting!
The number one reason we don’t look good on camera is BAD LIGHTING!
Improper lighting can cast unflattering shadows across the face. Whether it’s natural light, studio light or flashlights, make sure lights are behind your camera lens. You also don’t want a lack of direct light sources, so make sure your lighting is as bright as possible.
2. Eye Contact or Lack Thereof….
No one wants to look up your nostrils, at dreaded double chins, or talk to the top of your head. You want your camera at eye level or slightly above. Make sure you look at the lens as much as possible, so your audience is engaged and knows you are talking directly to them.
3. What Are You Wearing?
Don’t give your audience a headache by wearing tops with tight patterns or stripes. They have a dizzying effect on the viewer and can cause a weird optical effect called a moire pattern, where patterns compete for visual dominance. Instead, choose bright solid colors and avoid white and black. Also, it’s easy to forgo the bottom half when appearing on camera, but for your safety, wear pants, skirts, or something below the waist – you never know when you have to get up!
It’s easy to get burnt out on virtual calls, meetings, and an endless on-camera schedule. To keep your energy up, always turn off your camera’s self-view. Looking at yourself all day long will drain your brain and distract you from the business at hand.
For a quick refresher between appointments, find a pregame ritual that works for you. Whether it’s a walk, a dance, slipping on new shoes, or shining up with some lip gloss, find something that perks you up in the virtual environment and lets you be ON and READY to go. You can also get inspired by what other people are doing; use of backgrounds, props, or screen sharing – mix things up to put your professional presence in the best light!
Kerri Garbis is the Founder and CEO of Ovation and has trained hundreds of business professionals internationally throughout her career as a professional actress, entrepreneur and speaking coach. She is a Professional Speech Writer certified by the Professional Speechwriters Association, a Business Etiquette Expert, certified by The Emily Post Institute, an Emotional Intelligence Expert, certified by The Hay Group, and the exclusive speaker training partner for Meeting Planners International. Her dedication to dynamic, user-tailored content has helped ensure that every Ovation consultant delivers the highest level of client-focused professional training. Visit www.getovation.com today to learn more.