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A Complete Guide to Looking More Professional on Zoom Calls



A Complete Guide to Looking More Professional on Zoom Calls

Important virtual meetings are less stressful when you feel like you’re putting your best image forward. Whether you’re interviewing for a new position or selling a client on a new idea, having a professional image is essential. Even if you use the best Teams backgrounds, however, there could be more ways to improve the professionalism of your video calls. Here are the best tips and tricks.

Framing Your Face

The trickiest part of looking professional on Zoom calls is also the most important. Framing makes all the difference between a rushed-looking call and a fully immersive meeting experience. Make sure your face takes up most of the frame, with only about 10% of the total space empty above your head. Move your webcam or laptop so that your face is directly level with the camera or slightly above it, rather than slightly below.

Improving the Lighting

Lighting should be your second big consideration. Natural light from a window will always read better on video than artificial light. A bright ring light is a great alternative option for meetings at night or in offices without ample window space. Remember that more light brings more attention to your facial features and makes it easier to connect and communicate over video.

Changing Your Background

Unfortunately, not every virtual meeting can take place in a beautiful private office full of bookshelves and potted plants. A virtual office background is an easy fix for an imperfect location, but simply using a background isn’t enough. Avoid trendy, distracting or animated backgrounds in professional meetings. Also, consider customizing your background with a company logo or your name and job title.

Upgrading Your Camera

A blurry or outdated video camera can make any setup feel less professional. If you’re using a built-in laptop camera, you can check its resolution either by looking at your computer’s specs in a user menu or looking up the year, make and model’s specs online.

A resolution lower than 1080p (the standard for many modern “HD” webcams) may appear less professional. Anyone taking many video calls or video calls with external clients should consider upgrading to a better webcam.

Dressing the Part

The clothes you wear in a virtual meeting are just as important as those you choose for an in-person meeting, but there are a few differences in styling for a virtual format that you should keep in mind.

Try to contrast your background color with the main color of your shirt. This will draw the participants’ eye to you and make your image more dynamic. Avoid small prints that can distort over a webcam feed. Women should opt for high necklines so that the cutoff point doesn’t sit awkwardly on their chest.

Nailing Your Technique

The final part of looking professional on Zoom calls is proper call technique. Once you have the perfect setup, be sure you’re speaking clearly into the microphone and looking at the camera as much as possible. Avoid focusing on your laptop screen, the call chat or notes. If you need notes, you can place them directly to the side of the camera. 

Professional Zoom backgrounds are only the first step to a first-rate video call presence. Follow these tips to be engaging and professional over webcam.