Look Your Best on Video Calls

Written by Melissa Kessler, MA, PCC

If you are like me, you are probably spending more time on video calls than ever before given the new work environment, and you may be concerned about how you look on camera. Personally, I have been unhappy with how I appear on video, so I went to YouTube for ideas on how to look better. Below are some tips I found very helpful from this video from Hot and Flashy: How to Look Good on Video Calls for Zoom, FaceTime, Skype

  1. Find your best lighting. Ideally you want light to be in front of you either from a window with natural light or with a lamp placed behind your laptop or tablet. You may want to invest in a ring light if you are planning to do a lot of video calls. You can use your cell phone camera (facing you) to test your best lighting. You want to avoid light behind you, to the side, or overhead light that will cast shadows on your face.
  2. Place your video camera a little higher than eye level. You want to be looking up slightly at the camera rather than down to avoid a double chin. Place your laptop or tablet on a box on top of your table or desk so it is higher than eye level.
  3. Don’t sit too close to your camera. It has a wide-angle lens that will distort your face if you are too close. Sit about an arm’s length away from your camera.
  4. Test your appearance on video before the call. Log into Zoom or other video platform to see yourself on camera prior to your call, and adjust your camera for your optimal angle and appearance.
  5. Put some effort into your hair and make-up (if you normally wear it). Get ready just as you normally would for work by fixing your hair and make-up (if you usually wear it).
  6. Be mindful of your background. Tidy up the area behind you that will appear on camera so that your audience is looking at you rather than the mess behind you. If you can dedicate an area in one room for video calls that you keep tidy, all the better.
  7. Look directly at the camera. Rather than looking at yourself or others on your screen, try to look directly at the camera lens to appear as though you are speaking directly to your audience.
  8. Wear clothes that you would wear to the office. Dress as you would for work from the waist up. Don’t wear sweatshirts, hoodies or T-shirts. If you plan to stand up at all during your call, be sure to wear pants that you would normally wear to work and not sweatpants, yoga pants or shorts.

I hope these tips help you look and feel your best during video calls. We tend to feel better about ourselves when we look better, and we tend to perform better when we feel better. May you make each day count and live your best life each and every day.

 “Make the most of yourself – for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” – William James

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