When it comes to connecting with other team members, it hardly gets any easier than video conferencing. However, when something can be done from home it can be hard to figure how a good level of professionalism. This can be even harder when you’re the one hosting. But no matter what your role is, a large part of a successful conference call is how you present yourself. Below are the three main points to consider.
There are three main factors that go into picking a good outfit for your video conferences. The first, and the easiest to consider, is the color of your clothes. In this article by Realmensrealstyle, the author critiques outfits worn by newscasters and other people in the public eye who are being filmed on a TV camera either as anchors or presenters. While a webcam won’t be able to pick up as much detail, the article has some excellent points. Avoiding wearing bright or warm colors can be a good idea in many situations, as they can indeed affect the color of your complexion and add a tint to your skin tone. Additionally, neon colors can affect the overall tone of the picture, throwing off your color balance which is especially dangerous when using artificial lighting. Wearing a blue shirt under the warm tones of incandescent lighting can affect the color of the shirt and tint it green, so don’t forget to consider your setting when choosing color. On a related point is the next part, which is the value or the darkness of your clothes. This is highly dependent on your surroundings, as dark colors in a dark room or light colors under stark lighting can make your head appear to be floating. Instead, aim for your clothes to contrast in value with the background. Last of all, you need to be very careful of patterns. As a general rule, thin stripes or a tiny, high detail design can appear distorted or ripple on video.
So much of performing well on camera is being able to strike a good balance between being professional and being comfortable. Even though most of the time, the other members of the conference call will only be seeing your head and shoulders, it’s important to try to either sit or stand to help with your posture. You will also feel much more professional if you’re dressed up not just from the chest up, but with your entire body. You don’t have to be too fancy, and should still be in comfortable shoes, but even when calling from the home it can really help your body language and overall mental attitude to be fully dressed as though you were attending the meeting in person. Lastly, being well prepared can do wonders for your peace of mind and drastically improve the overall professional aspect of the call. It’s important to be comfortable with all the aspects of the call, including the software. Using an inclusive program like BlueJeans can make video conferences easier, especially ones on a large scale, but giving yourself extra time to make sure everything works great can help you keep your cool and prevent breaking out in a nervous sweat. And speaking of red, sweating faces, we are ready to discuss the third and final point of putting your best face forward.
Despite what some social stigma may dictate, it is not uncommon at all for people of any gender to wear makeup on camera. Your makeup needs will vary greatly, depending on the resolution or quality of your web camera and internet connection, but in general you should seriously consider wearing at least a light application of makeup. Foundation is a good idea and is very much a unisex cosmetic product, since it’s primary role is to even out a blotchy or unbalanced skin tone. Stylecaster especially recommends a powder makeup, since they can be easier to blend and can help combat an oily complexion which can be a real issue on camera depending on lighting. A low resolution web camera will likely not translate the finer details of your skin, however, so acne or other flaws may not appear on camera and will only need a light color correction. Should you so choose to enhance other features of your face, such as eyes, lips or brows, it’s a good idea to avoid too bright or striking of colors and instead stick to natural tones. A soft brown eyebrow pencil, gold or other warm tones for eyeshadow, or a neutral to dusty rose color for the lips are all good choices for making your face more expressive without the risk of looking too unnatural or harsh on camera.
While this list may seem rather long and perhaps even intimidating, it’s important to remember that these are fairly easy steps to take. A trip to the mall and a few extra hours to practice what you need to say, and you should be just fine.