How to Make YOU Camera Ready: Etiquette for Video Meetings
Video meetings are the new normal in our ever changing world. Video conferencing is great, it allows people to always have the opportunity to meet “in person,” even if you're across the world from other attendees.
Let’s jump in to some tips & tricks that will help you tell the best version of your story in a video meeting.
PREPARATION IS KEY:
You want to ensure that you are fully prepared for your video meeting. It is important to pick a neutral background that isn’t distracting to the other attendees, but don't let that deter you from adding elements of your personal brand to the background. Having only a single color does not provide contrast and depth to the shot, a boring background does not represent any emotion. This is the difference between corporate and modern contemporary office spaces, modern businesses generally use color to establish the energy and culture in a workspace, for example, Google is a company that exercises this, when you walk into their offices you instantly feel positive energy and collaboration. Now we must translate this to a virtual space: add your brand colors into the background and some elements that represent you and your personal brand.
Your brand is YOU, your personality is what makes your communication UNIQUE.
In my office, I have a white neutral background with my colorful LOUDER logo and my staple color pencils to brighten up the receiver’s visuals.
Ensure that you do not put your back to the window (if you have to put a white paper to reflect, just make sure you don’t have to hold it so you don’t get tired!) because this will cause a backlit shadow and you will look washed out. If possible, face the window for natural light this will create pleasing, accurate skin tones in the camera and assist the camera with rendering accurate colors.
Background noise is one of the main issues with video conferencing, pick the right microphone and don’t be afraid to speak a bit LOUDER. Place any noise making items such as fans, air conditioners, and any other noise making machines a fair distance from the microphone. Ensure you are close enough to your microphone that you can be heard by all attendees, do a sound check through your computer before beginning the meeting. Have you ever walked into an unfurnished house or apartment and you find your voice echoes through the room? This is because sound bounces off of hard surfaces such as windows and walls -- when you add soft items like furniture and curtains, it softens the echo. Your mic will also pick up on this echo so make sure that you are recording in a room with soft objects to dampen the sound, such as a room with couches, carpet, and even blinds on the windows -- this will make your audio sound more crisp and clear.
LOOK & SOUND YOUR BEST:
Without a doubt attire and physical presentation still count over camera! Your image and energy is your brand. Every person's form of communication is unique, this is the reason that we have preference when listening to something like a TedTalk or a podcast. It is not necessarily that some are better than others, we all harness the power of communication and influence in different ways. How we connect with a certain demographic is based on our personal brand.
When you look at some of history's most profound speakers you will realize it is not that they are smarter or more talented than anyone else, it is that they are authentically passionate about their message and they practice and prepare! In order to have influence and power when speaking you must have a clear and calculated message to convey. Every word that leaves your mouth and every move you make should be with direct intention. What is your outcome?
The Pencil is your Ally:
Hold a pencil horizontally between your teeth and practice your enunciation.
By making your tongue and mouth work much harder around a physical speech impediment, enunciating will become easier when you are speaking normally without any obstruction.
REPEAT, Speak Up, Believe, Have Fun, Get Better, Be Greater, Be Louder… REPEAT
Time to Get Camera Ready
Hair: Spray the frizziness and brush your hair in place.
Makeup: Don’t go too crazy, the camera is looking for definition in the face.
Clothes: Look decent from head to toe, put flattering solid colors near your face as patterns confuse the camera lens.
Eye Contact: Look into the camera; this is how you make eye contact. Use your eyebrows to smile.
CONFIDENCE IS YOUR SUPERPOWER:
Breathe, enjoy, and show that you care. By being prepared and looking and sounding your best, your confidence will shine through! Practice and repeat until you find your best frequency!
And remember, relax and smile ☺