June 30, 2020 6 min read

More and more of us are working from home. With video calls and interactive, virtual conferences becoming standard, it’s natural to want to look your best. This guide will provide some handy tips and tricks to ensure you look the part.

Working from home is increasingly popular, and many companies embrace remote operations and more flexible working arrangements. When you’re making video calls or dialing into a conference or a meeting with clients or colleagues, it’s understandable to want to look and feel confident. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to get set up for virtual meetings and offer advice to ensure you’re ready for every networking event or sales pitch. 

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How to Look Your Best for Conference Calls

Conference calls offer an alternative to traditional face-to-face meetings, and they’re an excellent way to maintain contact with colleagues and clients without having to travel. If your schedule is packed, and you’re keen to look your best on-screen, here are some handy tips.

Use Proper Lighting

video conference ring light

video conference ring light 

Lighting is vital when making video calls and participating in virtual meetings, seminars, and conferences. If you’ve tried to fiddle around with your phone or laptop to prepare for a previous request, you might be aware of how tricky it can be to find the light and get the exposure just right. If you don’t have a home office engulfed with natural light, or your desk is in a dark corner, don’t despair. You don’t have to sit in the shade and cast a ghostly figure on camera. You can try adjusting the lighting in the room, for example, adding lamps or turning the main light on, or moving your desk closer to a door or window. Do you want to look your absolute best and impress everyone in your video calls? C Larboard has the perfect conference ring light kit for you! Remember, it’s wise to aim for the light source to come from behind the camera, rather than behind you.

Adjust Your Camera Position

We’ve all been on calls before when you can see half of somebody’s face or the top of their head. Before you start your call, consider adjusting the position of the camera. If you’re using a laptop, the camera should be located just above your eye line. This will enable you to look directly into the camera, and your entire face should appear on the screen without you having to move around. If you’re using a separate webcam, place it on top of the laptop or desktop screen and experiment with the picture until you find the best location. When you’re using a phone, it’s beneficial to utilize a stand or to prop your phone up, rather than trying to hold it and speak and listen at the same time. You want to be able to take notes without your face disappearing off the screen while others are talking. 

Always Test Your Video Before Going on a Call

If you have an important meeting scheduled, the last thing you want is to spend the first few minutes trying to get the angle or the lighting right or dealing with technical issues. It pays to prepare ahead of time so that you set the right tone, and you can start the conference promptly. Before you launch a video call or dial into a meeting, always take a few minutes to test the video and make sure that you’re happy with the lighting, the position of the camera, and the background. It’s helpful to spot problems and address issues beforehand to prevent delays and make sure you create the right impression. Testing in advance will also enable you to check your appearance before your call begins. This will prevent bad hair days and spinach in teeth disasters. 

Find a Quiet Place in Your Home

Work calls are not the same as social catch-ups, and you don’t want to be fighting over TV theme songs, lawnmowers, or traffic noise to hear what is going on. Find a quiet spot to join your meeting and try to avoid using rooms that will be needed by others. If you don’t have the luxury of a study, set up an area in a spare room or a formal living space, or book the kitchen for half an hour and let the people you live with know that you’re going to be on a call. To cancel out background noise and help you hear clearly, you can also use headphones. It’s also a good idea to make sure your audio is not playing while you’re not talking. This will make it easier to hear the person or people who are speaking, and it will prevent others from hearing you if you tend to think aloud. 

Minimize Distractions

We’ve all seen clips of high-profile video interviews and calls going wrong because a dog or a toddler comes charging through the door halfway through. If you have a meeting or a call scheduled, tuck yourself away, let all the other people in your household know and focus on your screen. Turn off notifications for emails and instant messages, shut off audio from other programs, and avoid trying to tackle tasks, such as reading new emails, during the call. 

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work from home meetig

Call Etiquette

Some people are pros when it comes to video conferencing, but this is a relatively new concept for many people. When you take a call, it’s beneficial to think about how you behave, how you present yourself, and how you interact and communicate with others. Here are some pointers to ensure your calls run smoothly:

Know When to Mute Your Mic

There’s nothing more horrifying for an employee than the thought of blurting something out and realizing that your mic isn’t on mute. Make sure you mute your microphone whenever you’re not speaking. You definitely don’t want your boss to hear you laughing at one of their remarks.

Use Indications When You Want to Speak

Virtual meetings can get hectic, especially if there are lots of people wanting to speak at the same time. To help calls flow and enable everyone to share ideas and thoughts, make a signal if you wish to talk. You can use simple gestures like putting your hand up, for example. 

Take Notes

Taking notes is incredibly useful, as it can be challenging to digest and remember everything that has been said on a call. Taking clear, concise notes that you can relay back to other team members can make all of the difference in your career. You don’t want to be the person that is out of the loop.

Keep Your Eyes on the Screen

When you’re on a video call, you’re more visible than in a regular meeting when everyone is sitting around a table, so make sure you keep your eyes on the screen. Your bosses and coworkers will be able to tell if you’re distracted. Make sure to give your undivided attention to your colleagues in every virtual meeting.

Screen Sharing Tips

If you plan to share your screen to display images or clips, practice in advance to make sure you know how to adjust the settings. This is not a good time for your boss to catch you watching a new episode of your favorite show. It’s in good practice to not have anything open on your computer that you don’t want to share with everyone else in the conference.

Additional Tips

To maximize the chances of a seamless video conference, there are some final steps to take. Check your Internet speed in advance and consider moving if the signal is weak. Dress as though you are going to a meeting at the office. You want to look smart and professional for a conference, so stick to the dress code you employ in the office. Finally, make sure you get enough rest. A good night’s sleep will ensure you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and that you’re alert. You don’t want to be yawning or struggling to keep your eyes open while your boss is talking. 

video call

 

Video conferences are an increasingly popular alternative to face-to-face meetings. If you have a call scheduled, it’s beneficial to prepare in advance by checking the lighting and the camera position, testing Internet speed, and mastering screen sharing. Dress smartly, make sure you’re ready to go as soon as the meeting begins and try to find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed or interrupted. Clear clutter from the background, keep your eyes on the screen and mute your mic when you’re not talking. Are you in search of other useful office gadgets to increase your productivity and well-being? Check out all that we have to offer!

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