Now more than ever, people are conducting the majority of their business from the comfort of their own homes. With platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Facetime, it is almost effortless to have business meetings with anyone anywhere in the world.
Below is a list of tips and tricks to prepare you for your video conference call and look, sound, and feel professional. Read on for our take on how to have a professional business call.
Why Get Dressed Each Day
The old saying that if you look good, you feel good is still true with remote video calling. Get dressed before working, even if you are just sitting in your apartment. It gets you into work mode and creates a separation between working and lounging at home. Your look also helps you stay productive and motivated.
Avoid wearing strapless or low-cut tops. They can have the appearance of you being topless on camera, and you can look extremely exposed on camera. Also, try to avoid long, loud jewelry. Excessive bracelets, for example, can cause a lot of audible distractions while on the call.
How to Look Good on Video
Below are some simple steps to make sure you appear professional on your call.
- Good Wifi Connection
Test your wifi connection before any call. Even if you can browse the web, you might not have the strength to handle a video call. You can log onto websites that will test your internet speed and tell you where you are at.
- Check your settings
Make sure you are in a cool, comfortable, and quiet place. Choose an office or a dining room to have your call. Avoid sitting on your bed or your couch. Have a solid table for your laptop or computer and sit in front of a wall to limit the distance behind you on camera.
- Good camera
Some computers have built-in cameras that are high quality, but many are mediocre. If you do not have a high-quality camera, consider investing in one to make your image clearer and more professional on the screen.
- Good lighting
Having proper lighting is crucial for video calls. Consider what lights you have in your home and how they will appear on camera. For example, if you have overhead lighting, it will create shadows under your eyes if you sit directly under it. Facing natural or soft lighting will look the best. Additionally, having more than one light source towards you can make you look better.
- Good sound
Before beginning any professional call, you want to make sure your sound is working properly and is at a suitable level. If you hop on the call and cannot hear the speaker, it takes up time and looks very unprofessional.
Test your speakers and headphones before your call to make sure everything sounds good. Most video platforms have an audio test button that lets you ensure your speakers and microphone work well.
While on the call, speak clearly and slowly to ensure they can understand you. Avoid background noise such as the TV, music, dogs, and other people.
- Avoid Distractions
Keep your attention focused on the video and not on anything else. Turn your phone off or put it out of reach to avoid the temptation of looking or glancing at it in case an alert goes off. Be alone in your room and turn all other distractions off.
- Manage Background
It does not matter how put-together you look if your background is a mess. Keep it clean and professional since everyone on your call will see it. Less is more when choosing your perfect background. Choose non-distracting and simple colors, art, and objects to have behind you.
Camera On vs. Camera Off
Before any business video call, makes sure you understand how your camera works and how to turn it off and on. Some meetings require you to have your camera off until it is time to speak, and some have you keep it on the duration of the call.
- Client Meetings
If you are conducting a meeting with clients, make sure everyone can see you and all client’s screens are on. Start your video conference on time to look professional and precise. You don’t want to keep people waiting.
- Internal Meetings
Before you begin a meeting with other coworkers, do a quick check to make sure you can see everyone, and they can see you. Hopping on a call a few minutes early will allow you to prepare before it begins.
Tips on Staying Professional
Here are a few more tips to help you stay professional during your call.
Maintain eye contact
Look directly into the webcam or at the face of the person you are speaking to. Do not look around the room while other people talk to you because it will look like you are distracted and not listening. Try not to focus on yourself in the corner of your monitor either.
Relax and smile! If you look and seem happy, it will transfer through the business call, and your colleagues or clients will be able to tell. Even if you are nervous, smiling will help you stay calm and relaxed.
don’t roll or spin in your chair. Avoid leaning, and make sure to sit up straight. SLouching or spinning will give the impression that you are not taking the call seriously.
With COVID-19 continuing to affect the workplace environment, video calls are more common than ever. If you follow the simple steps above, you are sure to impress your clients or colleagues with your professionalism despite being in your apartment or home.
If you dress the part, make sure all of your equipment is working properly, and check that your background and lighting are professional-looking, then you are good to go.
The next time you are required to have a business call from home, you can review this list to cut down on the pressure and make you feel as professional and presentable as ever!