Until recently, we were happily working from home in our pyjamas or yoga pants, but video calling has become a daily routine. Zoom calls, Google meet, Facetime and Whatsapp calls. They have become indispensable since 2020. And although we were all complaining about it at first, planning a meeting online is so much more efficient than in person. Remember the days when everyone had to grab their agenda first and nobody could agree on a date, or half the team was “stuck in traffic” and showed up late?
Scheduling online meetings is easy, but what should we wear?
But although it no longer matters where you are, you will still have to look as if you are in the same room. During an appointment with a client or customer, you wouldn’t normally show up in your bathrobe. By the way, did you know plastic surgery was booming last year, because of the rise in video meetings? I know, crazy! Now I am not suggesting we should all run to the nearest botox clinic, but we can start making an effort and have some fun with it. And there are some simple tricks to make you look great online. So how do you look good on a Zoom call?
What should you wear? And how do you look good on screen? How do you set up that laptop? And what do you do with the background?
Here are five tricks you can start applying to smash your next video call.
1. Zoom has a filter… for when you haven’t had your coffee yet
Zoom has a secret button to hide the bags under your eyes. Say what? Yep. When you are in a Zoom call, you can click on Video Settings in the bottom left corner. Then you click on Touch Up My Appearance and suddenly your skin looks smooth as a baby’s bum. Nobody needs to know that you were up all night binge-watching the new Netflix series. Or that you were just too lazy to put on make-up.
2. Get all pro with good lighting
We’ve all been there. Looking at our mobile or laptop from above. Not so flattering, that double chin. How do you fix that? Place your computer higher than eye level, for example by placing your laptop on a stack of books. It makes a difference! Also place a lamp next to your laptop; just a little further back. Choose your “best” side of your face and place the lamp on that side. The light highlights your face so beautifully.
3. The trick with the white sheet of A4
With the lamp switched on, now take a white plain sheet of A4 and place it on the table you are working on, in front of you. The light is reflected and gives you a healthy appearance. Try it!
4. Put on your best clothes!
Oh my goodness, how long has it been since were last getting all dressed up to go out? Forget about the ‘working-from-home-comfy’ style you’ve been rocking since March 2020, it’s time to bring out your best pieces, and wear them in your Zoom calls! Only the top half of your body is in the frame, so you could still wear those comfy trousers underneath. But there is no reason why you couldn’t go bold and bright on the top half. Choose nice blouses, colourful jackets, a funky top and don’t forget that statement jewellery you’ve been hiding away in the drawer. Going out on the town may not be an option at the moment, but you can still dress-to-impress on screen.
Pick a nice background and clean up your mess
Last but not least: make sure your room looks presentable. OK, you may be at home, but no one wants to see a spilled laundry basket or dirty socks in the background. Also check the details. Inappropriate photos? An unmade bed? Dirty coffee mugs on the shelf? Clean it up. Select a permanent place for your video sessions and make it look good. A plant, a bookshelf and a nice framed poster work wonders. Natural light is good as well, rather than a dark space, or sunlight shining straight at you.