Using Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet for video conferencing is very popular due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
You may be working from home in your PJs or just shorts and t-shirts. But it is still important to dress up and show up for meetings.
Do you really want your boss to see you in your PJs? Or that pile of washing that you’ve been meaning to iron for the last two weeks?
Here are a few top tips on how to present yourself properly for video conferencing.
1. Dress for work
It might seem like a good idea to not make an effort. However, if the people you are speaking to are bosses and work colleagues show them respect and your dedication.
Sitting around in your PJs doesn’t give the impression you are in work mode. Plus, if you’re a manager, it won’t help you to gain respect from your team.
2. Clean up the mess
Make sure that your dirty washing, used breakfast bowls and children’s toys loitering in the background are put away.
You don’t want work colleagues thinking you‘re untidy or lazy as that won’t have a good impression on your work ethic.
Make sure the space behind you is clean and tidy.
3. Ensure you have good lighting
There is nothing worse than not seeing who you’re talking to (unless you’re unable to hear them, more on that in a minute).
Do not position yourself with an open window in the background. Your face will be dark and almost unrecognisable.
Ideally, sit with the open window in front of you. Light from the window will show your face and the background giving the people looking at you a much better view.
4. Say that again
Possibly one of the most critical points is to make sure people can hear you clearly.
If your audio quality is poor other people on the conferencing call will quickly become frustrated and unfocused.
If you use a built-in microphone, make sure you sit within a few feet of your device. Built-in microphones work best when you are close to them.
Sitting too far away will make you quiet and hard to hear, making the meeting much harder for everyone else.
If you can wear a headset microphone or buy a USB microphone as the audio quality will be massively improved.
5. Whose dog is barking?
It can be incredibly difficult for other members of the conferencing call if someone has unwanted background noise.
Make sure you are in a quiet room of your house, or that your household knows you’re having a meeting.
It is hard enough without having children crying or dogs barking in the background.
If you need to, put a sign on the door to remind your household you have a video conference call.