Shifting Gears Part 8: Lights, Camera, Action
As remote work becomes the new norm, video conferencing has become an essential aspect of our professional lives. Whether you're connecting with colleagues or preparing for an online interview, it's crucial to manage perceptions effectively. In this guide, we'll explore the do's and don'ts of video conferencing, helping you present your best self. Don't worry if even the most seasoned professionals make mistakes sometimes; we're here to help you navigate this digital realm.
Crafting Your Space
Before you join a video call, it's important to find a private space that offers an unobstructed view of you. Position your camera appropriately, ensuring you're neither too close nor too far. If using a separate camera, place it near your screen to create the illusion of direct eye contact. Lighting plays a significant role in your appearance, so whenever possible, position yourself facing a large natural light source during the day. For evening calls, add a light above and behind your computer, along with general ceiling lighting. Test your setup beforehand to ensure you look your best.
Attention to Detail
Consider your surroundings as a stage that tells a story. Clear away any clutter or distractions, and be mindful of what appears in the frame. You don't want your audience to see dirty laundry or other unsightly elements. Take a moment to curate your environment, enhancing your professional image.
Check Your Appearance
While working remotely allows for casual attire, it's important to dress appropriately for video calls. Follow your regular work dress code to maintain a professional image. Avoid wearing stripes, as they can create visual distractions on camera. Remember, your appearance contributes to the overall impression you make.
During video calls, remain engaged and attentive. Avoid the temptation to multitask or check your phone. Direct your gaze towards the camera when speaking to create a sense of connection. When you're not speaking, actively listen to others and focus on any shared screens or materials relevant to the conversation. Remember that video calls provide close-ups of participants' faces, making your reactions and engagement more visible. Keep your face visible on screen at all times, as you are essentially always on camera.
Remember, You're Live
Sharing your screen exposes your desktop to all participants, so keep it clean and uncluttered. Close any unnecessary applications and emails to prevent inadvertent exposure of sensitive information. Always exercise caution and maintain professionalism when screen sharing.
By implementing these simple tips, you'll present yourself as the best version of you during video conferencing.
Good luck with your future video calls!
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