Well like many of us, I have been inundated with Zoom meetings since we have been homebound.
I have a home-based business so Zoom meetings aren’t new for me. However, for many it is a different way of functioning.
As a creative personal stylist, I thought that I would give you my top 7 tips for your conference calls whilst working from home.
Think of your screen as your shop window. It represents your brand. If you had a retail shop, you would consider the following; aesthetic, branding, colour palette, target market amongst many other things.
Well to a certain degree that is what our Zoom calls now are.
1 – Angles
I can’t tell you how many Zooms I have been on & the focus is up someone’s nose!
People have their earphones in & haven’t considered what others can see.
My cheap & easy solution is I always have a stack of magazines or books on my desk. Elevate your screen to a min of the level to your face.
If the screen is lower, then chins multiply!
Who wants that? Not me.
Practise. take a screenshot of yourself with the screen on the desk, looking up at yourself & another higher at face height.
The difference will be obvious.
2 – Lighting
Most of us don’t own specialty lighting. I certainly don’t. My suggestion is to take your phone, turn around so you can see yourself. move around the house to find the best spot. Of course, this can change depending on the time of day.
Make sure that the sunlight is behind your computer not behind you. When the sunlight is behind you, all I can see is a beautiful ethereal glow around your head & darkness where your face is.
Ie, I can’t see your face or anything you may be expressing to me!
In the same way, if you are facing side on to the window. One half of your face will be clear to me the other half in total darkness.
The ideal is squarely facing the window & have your screen in front of you. That way the light is evenly dispersed across your face.
If your Zoom is at night, move your screen so that you have even disbursement of light.
3 – Movement
Who has been on a zoom & one person is walking around their house? it is so distracting.
Within no time, I am starting to feel seasick! The motion back & forth.
Again, I am so distracted by the motion & movement, there is no way, I am listening to what you are saying to me. Even if they are gems of gold!
Place your phone/computer someone sturdy & still.
4 – Hair & Makeup
As most of us don’t have specialty lighting, we end up with shadows on our faces. The other thing is that when we are in a professional capacity how would you normally be presenting yourself?
For most of us the older we get, our features fade a little. So at the minimum, I would encourage, is some eye makeup & lipstick.
I know that our skills & business aren’t usually about our aesthetic however, we live in an age when we have a moment to make a first impression.
Let’s present in a professional way. Think of it from your potential customer’s point of view.
Do you present in a polished & professional way? Are you casual? Do you look like you really didn’t give it any thought or care?
5 – Smile & Engage
Some basics. Sit up straight. Again, take a photo of yourself. Have a look to see what others see. You will look more professional, lighter, more confident if you are sitting up straight.
Stop fiddling. All of your actions are visible.
Consider your outfit (top half anyway- you can be in jimmy jams on the bottom if you like)
Is your top clean & ironed?
6 – Colour Considerations
I tend to always wear a colour that is complementary to my skin tone near my face. Particularly if I am tired, I wouldn’t have black near my face.
Most of all, consider the colours near your face. If you are unsure what tones work best on you. feel free to get in touch & I can guide you. I have been an image consultant for many, many years!
If you have rounded shoulders put a jacket on. If need be, iron your top.
Carefully consider crazy patterns as they can distort on the screen.
7 – Background
You may be working from a makeshift office. However, take a screenshot of yourself. This is your frame. This is your ‘shop window’. How do you want your ‘shop/business’ to be perceived? Have you considered your background?
I have been on so many Zoom meetings that I am so distracted by backgrounds. I am busy looking at their books. (what do people secretly read?)
Is it so busy that I am so distracted by all the ‘stuff’
A consideration is to put up your branding sign/banner.
Ideally, I want you to focus on me. What I am saying rather than looking past me, distracted by all of the ‘stuff’.
What do you want it to say? Is it chaotic? & your specialty is mediation? Does it look calm & serene? Mine is a reflection of my branding. It is creative yet not cluttered.
Once you have worked out the above, use the same place for each zoom. You have done the work now.
As a personal stylist, these are some of the things that I work on with clients. Once you are aware of how to sit in front of the camera. This can be used in many situations.
If you would like to take this further, learn more. Finesse your own presentation. Feel free to book in for a complimentary consultation.