1. Pick your device.
Newer devices tend to have better quality cameras and microphones. Do I want to use my ipad from 2001? Or my laptop from 2015? The laptop from 2015 of course! The rule of thumb is that the newer the device, the better the hardware.
2. Check the camera.
Make sure you have taken any sticky notes off of the camera and wiped any fingerprints off with a microfiber cloth. If your camera is blurry, you most likely have some oil residue from touching the camera with your fingers.
3. Adjust the webcam height so that it’s roughly at eye level.
It may not be easy, but you will be able to connect better with people on the other end if they aren’t looking up or down at you. Put your laptop or device on a stack of books if it’s too low.
4. Look into the camera.
It’s irresistible to look at the different screens in the meeting to see what people are doing, or to make sure you look good. When it’s your turn to talk or if you are the presenter and you want to make an important point, look into the camera.
5. Don’t have your light behind you.
Whether it’s a desk lamp, a floor light, or a window, make sure you are being lit from the front and not from behind. If you have a window behind you, you will look like a silhouette much like someone in the witness protection program.
6. Don’t wear white.
It might make you look like you are glowing. Also avoid patterns that are distracting. No logos or slogans. Avoid slouching. When you pick out your clothes, make sure you don’t pick clothes that blend in with the background. Avoid jewelry that jingles or sparkles.
Web cams tend to give a washed out look, so women can wear more makeup to enhance their image. For men, don’t be afraid to wear a little concealer to give your skin a little color too.
7. Unclutter your background.
Everything behind you says something about you. Too much behind you becomes visual noise and can be distracting. Before you use zoom make sure there’s nothing behind you that takes attention away from your message. Take out the clutter. You can also choose to sit in front of a blank wall or hang up a sheet behind you.
8. Use the best connection.
The most dependable way to connect to the internet is with an RJ45 Ethernet wired connection. The next best thing is to sit close to the router. Don’t have computers doing heavy streaming or downloading or uploading at the same time. You might have to ask your children to wait until your meeting is over before they upload that YouTube video so that they’re not hogging all the bandwidth.
9. Mute your microphone if you don’t plan to say anything.
Barking dogs, loud clocks chiming, leaf blowers and lawn mowers can be very disruptive in a meeting. If you are pretty much just listening, mute your microphone.
Put pets and children in separate rooms and try to sit in an area where you are isolated form everyone else and there won’t be people walking past you in the background.