Looking good on a video call isn’t about vanity (or at least it shouldn’t be). I’m not talking about wearing a suit or ordering professional-grade lights off Amazon I’m talking about presenting your image.

It is always important to appear professional when meeting with your colleagues or clients, even if it’s through a screen, and sadly for some it looks like working this way is the new norm.

Putting a bit of effort into how you present yourself portrays not only a professional image but a positive one to. It shows you care about your clients, your meetings and aren’t just going through the motions while working from home. It also shows that you care about yourself, something not many people consider when making an effort, if you look as if you can’t be bothered or didn’t have time to dry your hair what kind of message does this convey? Bad time keeper? Low standards? Confidence issues? Think about it.

Getting dressed and making some effort to look good can have a significant impact on your mood. Considering many people are feeling isolated at the moment, any self-esteem boost is more than welcome, plus who doesn’t love a compliment on the way we look?

How to Look Good on Zoom (4 Key Tips)

Fortunately, it doesn’t take all that much work to look good on Zoom. Just a few simple adjustments can make you appear much more put together during your video conferences and help keep your team on task. Here’s how to get started.

1.Dress Appropriately

First things first – business casual is the new normal. If you’re wearing a suit while working from home, feel free to hang it up in the back of your closet for the foreseeable future. Even if your office did require you to wear a suit every day, rules are generally relaxing across the board now.

If you’re looking to impress your boss via Zoom, go for a sober button-down shirt or blouse. Depending on the climate where you live, polos or sweaters may also be acceptable. Stick to solid colours and neutrals as much as possible, as loud prints could be distracting.

Wear some colour – I wouldn’t suggest neon or pastels but good mid toned bright colours -such as red, blue, green or orange.  If your unsure what colour to choose, do a little test, look at yourself in the mirror with the colour on and see what you notice first. Is it your face or the colour of your top? Ifs its your face then chances are the colours spot on and wont be distracting to others making sure you get noticed for the right reasons.

In short, you’re free to dress down without going too casual. T-shirts and vest tops are never appropriate. Even some dresses may not be suitable, unless you can find a happy medium between a business professional look and a casual sundress.

Fortunately, it’s hard to go wrong when it comes to trousers and skirts. However, it’s wise to at least wear jeans, even though you’re probably going to be sitting down for your Zoom meetings. You never know when you’ll have to get up to grab a report or other materials, and you don’t want to get caught in your sweatpants.

Additionally, there are technical aspects of video calls to consider. No I’m know expert but there are some simple ways to make yourself look better online.  Poor lighting can make it hard to see you, lowering the overall quality of the meeting. Activity or clutter in the background could cause distractions that derail your call and lower your team’s productivity.

2.Find a Spot with Flattering Light

Where you sit plays a significant role in how you look on Zoom or in any video. You need proper lighting if you want other participants to be able to see your face clearly, and to avoid looking like you’re sitting in front of a spotlight.

In order from best to worst for video calls, here are the sources of lighting you can use:

  • Natural light
  • Warm indoor lighting
  • White indoor lighting
  • The light from your computer screen

If you’re participating in a Zoom call during the day, find a nice spot where the natural light hits your face. However, don’t sit with your back to a window. This will result in you becoming backlit, and your team won’t be able to see you clearly.

For calls at night, a warm reading or standing lamp positioned one to two feet away from you should do the trick. In any case, your best bet is to take a few minutes before meetings to test your camera and experiment with your lighting options.

3.Position Your Camera for the Best Angle

Since you watch video calls on your laptop’s screen, it can be easy to prioritize the angle of your display and overlook that of your web camera. However, you don’t want to leave your colleges staring at your hairline or your chin for the duration of your meeting.

To put it simply, you want to avoid odd angles. You shouldn’t need to incline your head up or down too much to look directly at your camera.

However, if you’re using a standard table or desk, your laptop likely sits below your head. If you only have to tilt it back slightly, this setup can still work. To play it safe, we recommend lifting up your laptop a bit, so its camera is on eye-level with you. A monitor stand or a few books should do the trick.

If you’re using Zoom on your mobile device, the same general rules apply. Ideally, you want your camera to be eye-level or slightly higher. It can be difficult to hold your smartphone at this angle for extended periods of time, so consider investing in a tripod if you don’t have a laptop with a web camera.

4.Make Sure Your Background Isn’t Distracting

Last but not least, you need to make sure the area behind you during your Zoom call isn’t too distracting. As far as tips go, this one is pretty simple. A plain wall or even a subtle piece of artwork makes for the best backdrop. No messy toys or washing up in the background.

However, many of us don’t have dedicated spaces we can use to join Zoom meetings with pristine, distraction-free backgrounds. If that’s the case, here are a few ways you can improve your call’s setting:

Send children and pets to another room to minimize activity and sound in the background of your call.

Avoid sitting in front of bookcases or other ‘busy’ backdrops with lots of objects than could be distracting.

Finally don’t feel you have to wave when you leave a zoom call, when you leave a normal meeting you don’t leave the room waving madly so don’t do it on zoom!

I hope these tips have helped and make you feel more confident on camera, its definitely something not everyone likes but sadly its something we have to get used to.  If you would like to find out more about how to look good on video or how to improve your image then please get in touch. I offer 1hr sessions via Zoom for £40 per hour.

Enjoy and Happy Zooming!