Sounding and Looking Your Best in Webcam Meetings

Eight tips for making the best impression during remote meetings and interviews:

  1. Choose a neutral background
    • Choose neutral accessories for the background, such as plants, lamps, or books—as opposed to a wall full of family photos—and a neutral wall color.
    • A full wall as a backdrop is best. Avoid stairs or multiple rooms in the background as they can be distracting.
  2. Deliberately place your lighting
    • Avoid sitting directly under the lighting source – position the lighting two feet opposite you, out of camera view to avoid glare. Note: Be mindful of glare in the lenses of glasses.
    • Make sure there’s no glare off the window. Close curtains/shades.
  3. Check your sound
    • A room with carpeting and window treatments will create less echoing than an all wood or glass room.
    • Be sure to turn off or silence noisy electronics, including your cell phone, and close any unnecessary tabs or apps on your computer. Disable any distracting notifications that are being sent to your phone or computer.
  4. Position yourself and the camera
    • Position the camera so you are looking up at it slightly and centered on the screen.
    • Maintain good posture: keep your back straight and shoulders open with feet planted on the floor. Arms can rest in your lap or on the desk. Note: Make sure you aren’t swiveling in a desk chair, or moving side-to-side – ask a colleague to evaluate your webcam posture.
  5. Conduct a test beforehand
    • Ensure your internet connection is strong, and test the audio and camera.
    • Become familiar with the technology/program you are using in case you have to adjust settings. This probably goes without saying, but the various platforms – WebEx, Zoom, Skype, Google Meet – work differently and may require getting used to before having important video conversations/meetings.
  6. Dress as if you were meeting in person
    • Imagine you were conducting this meeting in person, what would you be wearing? While suits aren’t Covid-19 work-from-home attire, make an effort to look professional.
    • Think about wearing solid, bold colors that contrast with your background (for example, if you sit in front of a blue wall, don’t wear a blue shirt).
    • Make use of technology “filters” – for example, Zoom offers a “Touch Up My Appearance” option in the Video Settings tab.
  7. Show energy and enthusiasm
    • Yes, you are on camera – normal tips apply – make sure you show energy and enthusiasm.
    • Keep the conversation conversational, as you would if you were in person.
  8. Look directly into the camera
    • When you speak, look at the camera. It will appear to the person/people on the other end that you are looking at them.
    • Avoid looking away from the camera or screen.