Have you ever been on a video conference call and can tell that the person on the other end has clearly not even glanced at the smaller screen of themselves to see if they are connected? Sometimes you can only see half their face, other times it seems as if they’re in a dark cave, and every once in awhile, their portable camera is face-down on a stack of papers.
Despite the awkwardness of only one person having their camera on, it’s better to have a profile picture showing than a black screen. Even if you’re working from home, you want to look presentable. You never know who you will be on an unexpected call with and it’s good to be prepared. Treat the person on the other end the way you want to be treated.
Here are some quick tips so that you never fall into the traps mentioned above:
Lighting: Make sure you are in a well-lit area where the light source is in front of you. This way your face isn’t lost in an eerie shadow.
Camera position: You should be the star of the show in your camera view. Most people don’t have a video conference with you so they can see your office. They want to see YOU! Move your camera so that you can see yourself from the shoulders up. It’s unnecessary to cut off your neck just to see the ceiling.
Keep your distance: Being too close to the camera can make your head look a lot larger than it actually is. Sit up straight and leave a comfortable distance between you and your computer screen. Don’t interfere with “the bubble”.
Background: Sit in a room with non-distracting decoration and try to shy away from having plain white walls behind you.
Practice: Don’t have a mirror in your office to see how you look? Use Photobooth (Mac users) to see if you have a displaced strand of hair or some leftover lunch on your shirt. Google helps you out too. Before clicking ‘Join’ for a Hangout invite, use that opportunity to do a quick, last-minute check.
Now that you’ve got your look covered, read more about everything else Google!
Download a data-driven Forrester Report on the Total Economic Impact of Google Apps.Originally published on August 23, 2013