With so many of us continuing to work from a home office, or a re-purposed kitchen table, as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, mass video calls have become something of a daily occurrence. In business, connecting via video link is now an essential element of the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ toolkit.
And it looks like it could continue like this into the future. While the lockdown may be beginning to ease in some areas of the country, the way we work will undoubtedly change as we move forward into a ‘new normal’, with potentially more of a blended approach between office and home working.
So how do you put your best foot forward and make sure that you maintain an air of professionalism, despite the family chaos that could be crashing about all around you. We’ve got five top tips that can help.
The rules of engagement
- Be familiar with all the new platforms before you are asked to use them. There’s a lot to learn and making friends with a techie can help. Know how to mute the microphone and turn off the camera, so you are in complete control of what others see and hear. If you’re on a new platform, try a test call with a friend before using it for real.
- Get your camera angles right. Try and position the camera on the computer or phone at eye level or above. Try not to look down but keep your chin up. It’s a much more flattering shot. A pile of books can be your best friend here. If you really want to go for it, stand up to present as you get more energy that way. But you’ll need to adjust the camera accordingly.
- Make sure your face is in a well-lit position. If your camera is facing a window, you will appear as a dark shadow. If you can’t avoid this, then try drawing the curtains and pointing a lamp towards yourself from just behind the camera.
- Have a good look at what is behind you. Get rid of the dirty washing pile or the embarrassing family photo. Think about what your background says about you and about how it may be perceived by others.
- Try your hardest to keep ‘visitors’ out of the room in which you are working, particularly young children or animals. Sometimes it’s impossible, and people are generally more forgiving under the current circumstances, but always try your best to get through the call without a little voice asking what’s for lunch.
Good luck and happy Zooming everyone!