Working from home has become the “new normal” for many of us this year… Communication with fellow colleagues, bosses, clients and even suppliers has gone completely virtual thanks to Zoom, Skype and Slack. There’s no doubt that working remotely would have been more difficult without these applications for video conferencing.
Creating a good backdrop for these video calls is important, especially if you’re heavily involved in the discussion and need to hold something up in front of the camera. This is also important if you’re someone who naturally talks with your hands.
In this blog post, we will be looking at the ways you can make your room or working space look good for these video calls.
Let’s get started!
The Main Backdrop
While there are virtual backgrounds available for Zoom calls (check out our previous blog post on how to set this up) sometimes that doesn’t do the trick and it’s better to look at what’s behind you in the physical room instead. This space behind you should look well put together and not be distracting.
If you’re struggling to find an appropriate place for your virtual meetings, look for a space at home that is neat and tidy. Having a quick clear up of any clutter before the call itself helps. Stage items or decorative pieces behind you if needed. Items like a gallery wall, floating shelves, or books make good backdrops to your Zoom call.
Avoid any bright colors behind you – sticking to a neutral backdrop where possible helps to avoid distraction for others on the call. Alternatively, colors that flow well together can help to make the backdrop look well put together too. Yellow tones tend to look washed out on video while blues render the best.
By previewing your camera in advance of Zoom calls, you can check the backdrop easily and stage objects behind you for maximum impact.
Always ensure there is a diffused light in front of you so your face is evenly illuminated. If this isn’t possible then you can sit in front of a window to naturally illuminate yourself for the call. Try to avoid sitting in dark spaces while on video calls as this can look unprofessional.
Position yourself so that the main light or ceiling fan isn’t directly behind you as this can be distracting for others during the meeting. Always preview your computer’s camera before calls so you can check the lighting levels.
Other Areas to Consider
If you are a glasses wearer it’s important to look out for lighting glare and avoid this where possible. Adding a diffused light (for example, a light with a fabric shade) in front of you and not sitting in a dark room will help with this.
Another thing to consider is investing in an external microphone and headphones for video calls. This will ensure you get the best audio quality and block out any surrounding sounds so it’s easier to concentrate on what is being discussed.
For a flattering angle, it is recommended to position the camera at or just above eye level. There’s nothing worse than sitting much taller than the camera or too low so that it’s looking down on you. Make sure to double check this and change your working or desk environment to suit when needed.
Aside from the room backdrop itself, it is worth ensuring that you show up to Zoom calls in a similar way to going into the office. Getting properly dressed for a working environment (a blouse, shirt, etc) and in general make a similar effort to when you would go into work is important.
We hope you have found this blog post to be informative! How do you like to prepare your background for Zoom calls? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!
Remember to always preview and check the video before your video calls!