Like most people around the world, you’ve probably spent more time than you ever thought you would in virtual meetings and virtual calls via video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meets, WebEx and so on. Because we were initially all in the same boat with suddenly being required to work from home while the entire family was either schooling from home or also working from home and sheltering in place, it was a common practice to be understanding about a screaming child or not having your hair perfectly coiffed because you’ve been chasing little ones around the house or getting an unobstructed view of clutter or having to stare up someone’s nose because they don’t know how to use a webcam.

But life has evolved. As with other situations in life, we’ve grown used to this virtual world, and I’ve found that people don’t have the patience that they used to at the beginning of the pandemic. In other words, they’re no longer letting expectations slide, no longer lowering the bar…they’re back to…judging.

Should we worry about others judging us? On the one hand, no. If you worry about what every single person thinks about every single decision or move you make, you’ll drive yourself into the ground with anxiety. On the other hand, if you need to have an important virtual meeting or call with a client or supervisor or your CEO – someone who can help you move up the career ladder or someone who can begin your slide down – it’s important to put on your best Zoom performance.

To help you do this, here’s a round up of “virtual studio” tips for your important meetings.

Deftly utilize all of your Zoom controls: 

Video tips for the most common Zoom interactions

If you understand how to use all of the tools at the above link, you’ll never stumble during a meeting.

How to look better on Zoom, Google Meets, WebEx, Skype, Face Time or any video conferencing platform: 

Get an overview of six basic steps (article)

Ten quick tips (short video)

The above resources will set you up for success. But if you want to really impress, consider the following….

There are a lot of tips out there in blogs and on YouTube, but I enjoy the videos that Gia Goodrich shares. She’s a photographer by trade, so she can explain why lighting or angles work or don’t work. This allows you to set up your virtual meeting space based on strategies instead of just blindly purchasing equipment because someone else says it works for them or losing time guessing where to position yourself and your equipment. Here are two helpful videos from her:

Lighting and camera angles

How to avoid glare if you wear glasses

If you need to deliver a presentation, up your game and go beyond sharing your screen: 

Use your slides as your virtual background (video)

Are you getting fancy schmancy and using more than one camera? 

Unless you’re a professional speaker, this is really unnecessary for a company meeting. But it would knock people’s socks off if you did! If you decide to use multiple cameras (like your laptop camera facing you plus a webcam at a different angle to show you writing on a flip chart), you don’t want to fumble around or ask people to wait while switching cameras. If you’re using two or more cameras, you can purchase a physical switcher or mixing board, download audio-visual software that includes this function, or utilize a keyboard shortcut within the virtual platform you’re using. In Zoom, hit Alt-N. I prefer the latter because it takes two seconds and doesn’t hog your computer’s memory.

If you want to look better on Zoom and come across very professionally, the first three resources I shared will do the trick. But it you want to go above and beyond on video conferencing (without spending too much time doing so!), definitely take a look at the rest of the resources I shared.

About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead? The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits. Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.

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