Helpful tips to look great in a video meeting

As marketers, we spend hours developing, refining, defining and managing brands. Personal brands are just as important to ensure that business leaders come across as experts and thought leaders in their fields.

In our new normal of COVID-19, we are spending our days online and in video meetings to connect with colleagues, clients, suppliers and the media. Every now and then, we glance over to the corner of the screen and get distracted by how bad we actually look.

Whenever we set up an interview for a client, we always give them some helpful advice on how they should prep for the interviews and present themselves. Turns out this works really well for online video meetings as well.

Here are some tips to help you look professional – and easy on the eye – when you switch on your camera for your next video meeting:

Wear solid, bright colours

Choose an appropriate shirt, dress or top in a bold, solid colour. Colours like red, blue and green look great. Avoid dark tops or ones with a lot of patterns or busy prints, as these designs don’t show up well on camera. Steer clear of bright white or dark black, as these colours are also not the most flattering on camera.


Take advantage of the “touch up my appearance” setting

If you don’t have time to apply any make-up, quickly tap or click on the settings menu in your Zoom program. Select “video” settings and then pick the “touch up my appearance” button. This feature smoothens out any obvious blemishes or marks, and helps to polish up your overall appearance.

Ensure the light is in front of you

If you have chosen a window as your backdrop, your device’s camera will expose the light emanating from behind you and turn your profile into a silhouette. Position your desk and chair so that you are facing the window. This way, your face will be illuminated and you’ll have a ‘’softer’’ look. You can try the same with a desk lamp (or two). Place the lamp behind your device angled in either the 10:00 or 14:00 position, and you’ll see how much it improves your video quality.

Keep your background plain and simple

You want people to focus on you and not on what’s behind you. While many people like to sit in front of a bookshelf, the titles and trinkets on the shelf can cause distractions. Find a space in your room that doesn’t have a lot of distractions, like a plain wall or a wall adorned with a simple art piece. This will help you to look more professional on camera.

If your space is limited or cluttered, use a virtual background on Zoom or Teams. Choose a picture that enhances your video, without it being a distraction.


Ensure your camera is at eye level

We’ve all seen them – people with the camera up their nostrils, someone who has only half a head in the shot or someone who has the camera under their chin. Line up your laptop, phone or tablet so that your camera is positioned in line with your eyes. To do this, stack some books or magazines under your device.

Check your appearance before you go live

Set up Zoom or Teams so that it displays a preview of what you look like on camera, before going into the call. Take a few seconds to make sure that your camera is at the right angle, your background isn’t too busy, the light is right and you look presentable.