With many online meetings taking the place of in-person encounters, here are four ways to look your best on screen:
Get the Light Right
Strong lighting behind you causes your camera to underexpose your face, while overhead lights cast unflattering shadows on your eyes. Instead, position your main light source behind your camera so it illuminates the front of your face. If windows or lamps shining directly at you give you eye strain, position the lights at a 45-degree angle to your face. Place lamps as close to eye level as possible. If that setup still doesn’t produce lighting you like, you can purchase special LED ring or panel lights for about $20-$70.
Consider Your Camera
Even powerful computers sometimes have lackluster cameras. Or the camera may be positioned at the bottom of the screen, creating an unflattering angle looking up at your face. For $50-$100, you can buy a USB camera that sits on the top of your monitor. Dedicated cameras offer features like full HD video, autofocus, automatic color balancing, and camera covers for privacy concerns. Position your camera slightly above eye level for the most flattering angle.
Create the Best Background
You don’t need a barren background, but simple scenes work best. Good options include a tidy bookshelf, a plant or two, shelves with a few items, or uncomplicated artwork.
Check Your Video Settings
Most video-conferencing applications allow you to tweak video settings. For example, Zoom includes a “Touch up my appearance” feature that smooths out blemishes and wrinkles.
Don’t forget that appearance is only part of your video-meeting experience. Make sure you also consider sound quality and best practices, such as muting yourself when not speaking in a large group.