5 Tips and a mnemonic on how to look your best on Zoom
We’re definitely living in turbulent and uncertain times but one thing is clear, usage of video conferencing facilities, such as Zoom has increased. And it’s here to stay.
I’d hazard a guess that the Zoom online meeting platform is probably the Go-To platform.
Companies and home-workers alike have recognised their validity as well as how useful they will continue to be as alternative ‘face-to-face’ meetings, webinars and simple chats.
When it comes to practicality and expediency, the Zoom platform offers a seamless easy to use business platform.
How You Look, Not How To Use Zoom
For the purposes of this blog, I’m not going to discuss the technicalities of Zoom such as hosting or joining a meeting, the pros and cons of a built-in camera versus a webcam, headsets, and where to sit to get the best light.
Instead as a Personal Stylist for business women, I am focusing on how to look good on Zoom.
After all, it’s not as simple as answering an audio mobile call.
Because now you can be seen!
And like it or not, it pays dividends to be camera-ready.
Use video calls to leverage your position and influence.
Think of a Zoom call in the same light as a photo-shoot or being streamed live on television.
Once you’ve learnt to prepare yourself for a Zoom call, it will become second-nature.
In the same way you check how you look on your mobile before taking a Selfie, do the same on your computer screen.
Both the Skype and Zoom platforms offer a preview facility before you take part in a video call.
My Top 5 Tips On How To Look Better On Zoom
1. Hair & Make-up
It’s not about looking primped and preened but it is about presenting a relaxed professional image you’re happy the world sees.
So there’s no need to spend hours looking as if you’ve secretly secured a visit to your hair stylist or make-up artist, but look as if you care. About yourself.
It’s about self-respect and respect for others.
CWC style tip: News presenters ensure they look the part, because the image they impart says Professional before they’ve even said an introductory greeting.
2. The Camera Position
If you’ve ever used one of those passport photo booths, then you’ll have experienced those take-a-chance swivel stools.
Just when you think everything is perfect, out pop your finished pictures only to reveal the top of your head is missing.
Ideally you want to be close enough to the screen to offer ‘a head and shoulders’ view on a video call, with a clean background.
As a rule of thumb with a desk top monitor, aim to be roughly an arm’s length distance from the screen.
Viewers need to be able to see your face clearly and your upper body.
You don’t want to be a disconnected head or too close that you become scarily distorted.
You can use your in-built camera or a webcam.
To be honest, I find a Webcam superior and more beneficial as I can position it slightly above me.
You’ll find this angle is more flattering.
CWC style tip: Think of yourself as a news anchor where you can be seen clearly and you feel confident in presenting a polished professional appearance.
Lighting plays a key role in how you’re viewed by others.
You want this to be best possible because this is going to show you off to advantage or to your disadvantage.
Whilst you can’t always choose where your desk sits in relation to a window or other source of natural light, you can ensure you light up your face.
Use your desk lamp as a lighting prop.
I use mine for this new function and I’ve ‘stolen’ an extra table lamp from the sitting room for when I have Zoom calls.
CWC style tip: Use additional household lamps as lighting aids.
4. Your Clothes
With a home office, I suggest you wear Business Casual, at least on your top half!
Rather like the phrase Business Casual, the expression Home Office also contains a work word.
Out of respect for yourself, colleagues and clients, I’d recommend a smart top or blouse.
Whatever you choose to wear below, whether jeans, sportswear or loungewear – it’s up to you – as long as they can’t be seen! The same goes for your shoes whether you’re in slippers, sneakers or flip flops.
Suddenly standing up in cycling gear shows that your mind isn’t really on business but on something else!
When it comes to solid colours or patterned, the general rule of a solid colour has some merit as it tends not to fight with your background.
Having said that, if you have a plain or neutral background, I tend to break that rule and go for a pattern or bolder colour.
It helps you to stand out against the background and it adds an approachable human touch.
CWC style tip: keep a silk blouse to hand so that you’re never caught out unexpectedly.
Below are a series of business-appropriate blouses with casual bottoms: from loungewear pants to
shorts and wide-legged Summer floaty ones.
It might be obvious but no-one will see how messy your desk is (assuming you’re sitting at it in front of the camera); however they will see the background behind you.
When your Zoom call is for business, aim to present a business-appropriate environment.
Of course, if you’re working from home, your home office might well double up as a spare room or be used for something else. So if your home office is also used as the ironing room, ensure your ironing board and iron are put away or at least aren’t visible behind you.
Try to keep your background looking clean, tidy and appropriate for business meetings.
CWC style tip: With Zoom you can choose your own background or a virtual one.
Your Mnemonic On How To Look Your Best On Zoom
5 words: How To Look Your Best
Yes, your aide-memoire for my key tips is 5 words: How to look your best.
H = Hair & Makeup
T = The Camera Position
L = Lighting
Y = You and Your Clothes
B = Background
Blouses To Fit Any Budget
These days from Hugo Boss to Boden, you’ll find quality silk or viscose blouses for Business Smart, Business Casual and even Weekend wear.
I’ve put together a handful below to help get your eye in.
For information only
Spot print silk blouse, LK Bennett
Navy silk blouse, Libby London
Printed viscose blouse with tie waist, Ganni
High neck voile blouse, Cefinn
Scribble print silk blouse, Jigsaw
Yellow blouse, Hugo Boss
Antique rose silk tunic, Winser
Tie-neck cubic-print silk blouse, Marc Jacobs
Sun speckle print silk blouse, Boden
Online Capsule Wardrobe Service
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We also offer face-to-face personal styling in London and UK.
For a complimentary 30-minute Zoom call to discuss your wardrobe requirements, or to request your own capsule wardrobe, please get in touch here.