Have you been wondering how to look professional in a webinar or video conference? Or how participants in online meetings perceive you? Not everyone realizes that our appearance, way of communication and environment can tell a lot about us. Take a few minutes to learn some tips to help you look your best and more professional on camera.
1. Take care of the lighting to look great in the frame
Before preparing your webinar venue, be sure to take into consideration what time of the day the meeting will take place. Pay attention to whether your venue will be sufficiently lit. Webinars that take place in the morning and afternoon in the east and south rooms often do not require additional lamps to be switched on. But if you are planning a conference in the evening or in cloudy weather, don’t hesitate to get additional lighting.
Most importantly, do not sit with your back to the window, otherwise no one will see your face.
2. Choose the exact place where you will conduct the webinar
Surprisingly, many do not pay much attention to the preparation of the room in which they plan to host a webinar. This is really not something to trivialise, because the space around plays an important role in the perception of your entire image.
Clean up the entire room. It would be easier to prepare just the space behind you, but it doesn’t work that way. Imagine a situation where someone asks to see a book you are talking about. You would have to get up and walk through the entire room, which may be embarrassingly littered and disorganised. If the audience happens to catch a glimpse of this, it definitely will not look good on you.
3. Look around for personal items
It would seem obvious, but personal items such as cosmetics, perfumes, clothes and other little things that should not be seen by webinar participants end up distracting the audience. Once you’ve set up your camera, take a closer look at the shot – your room shouldn’t be too homely.
4. Test the webinar service
Test your webinar hosting platform to make the whole event, not just you, look professional. Get your friends or colleagues involved and test all the features in the webinar room together. When planning what the meeting will look like, take a look at what the video conferencing site has to offer. Perhaps the suggested features will inspire you to add something interesting to your presentation. In MyOwnConference, you can run tests, polls, include videos, decorate a room in company colors, and add banners and a logo.
5. Colorful clothes are great, but mostly for meeting friends
Clothes should not take away attention from the actual presentation. A bright outfit may look fashionable for you, but it is better to leave it for a meeting with friends. At a webinar, it is important to portray an image that will be associated with competence and professionalism. Light tones look better in the frame. Win-win options: smooth blue shirt, cream blouse, delicate pastel shades. If this is boring for you, you can even decide on large patterns. But small patterns should be avoided – such prints can ripple in the frame.
6. Leave all that cleavage for another occasion
Clothing should be appropriate for the nature of the meeting. No need to go too formal with a tuxedo or evening dress. However, a deep neckline, a cap or a beach outfit will not fit either. Remember that clothing is a kind of sign of respect for the meeting participants.
The fact that the camera only captures the upper body does not mean that you can sit in underwear or shorts (we know so many are guilty of this). Situations are different. You may have to get up suddenly, or the camera may slide a little. I don’t think we need to go over what the reaction of the conference participants might be if you happen to flash them your underwear or bare legs (simply traumatic).
7. Some powder wouldn’t hurt
We know that most men are more likely to avoid this product, but this is a mistake. Powdering your face before a video conference or webinar should be a ritual for both women and men. The camera is capable of capturing and emphasizing a lot of flaws, and in the reflection of a shiny forehead, you can also see everything that is in front of you. So, before the video call, just take a brush with powder and delicately go at least over the forehead and nose, so you don’t look like you just finished a run. On the other hand, complex make-up and a dense layer of foundation, creating a mask effect, are a no-no.
8. Don’t overdo your gestures
Learning to control your gestures can be challenging, but it is necessary to master this skill. We often do not pay attention to what our hands are doing and how we move while talking. And in a stressful situation, it may seem that we have no control over our body at all. Some may freeze and cannot even move a finger. Others wave their hands as if waving off a swarm of wasps. Watch recorded videos of your webinars. If it turns out that non-verbal communication is not your forte, work on it. In addition to self-control and rehearsals, there are special courses and literature that help you prepare for performances in front of the camera.
9. Poor picture quality makes it difficult to look good in a webinar
If you feel like you need to buy an expensive camera to look good, stop. Of course, using the built-in laptop camera for professional webinars is not suitable, but buying expensive equipment does not solve the problem of poor image quality. The main investment worth making is a good internet connection. After all, if you broadcast an image from a mega-cool camera on a 2 Mb channel, and even on a weak computer, all that your participants will see is an intermittent video. So first – get fast and stable internet, unload the channel from other connections, get a moderately new laptop or computer, and then a camera.
Learn more about choosing equipment in the article: How to choose a camera and microphone for a webinar.
10. Picture quality isn’t everything – use headphones and a microphone headset too
It’s no secret that using an external microphone and headphones provides cleaner, better sound than the built-in microphone and laptop speakers. With a headset, even if during a webinar, someone walks into your room and addresses you, none of the participants are likely to notice. Your voice will still sound loud and clear. However, remember to mute the microphone when another presenter is speaking.
Try to eliminate all background noise – close windows, turn off notifications on your phone and computer, get a silent keyboard and mouse.
More tips on how to improve your webinar audio.
11. Mount the camera at eye level
Take care of the correct camera position. Position the camera so that not only your head is in the frame, but at least your shoulders. Place the camera at eye level and then find the correct distance. If the camera is lower, then the face will blur in the frame.
12. Jewelry and accessories? Super, but don’t overdo it!
Neat earrings and a necklace will not interfere with the audience focusing on the presentation. But if your jewelry clinks, bangs against each other and even shines in the sun, you risk losing the audience’s attention.
13. Don’t sight-read – tell!
Nobody forbids having a cheat sheet with a script for the meeting, written down in points. On the contrary – it’s a great idea! But there is a difference between presenting and reading word for word. Some are cunning, setting a tablet in front of their eyes with a detailed speech. The thing is, it doesn’t look as natural as you think. Plus, if you are hosting a webinar with glasses, then there is a chance that the participants will read your presentation before you. Instead, before speaking, map out what you want to say and in what sequence. Number the most important points and hold the script so that you can easily glance at it.
14. What you should definitely not do
Of course, there are some unpleasant habits we need to point out:
- Spit out that gum before your webinar. Speaking and chewing at the same time is never good, even if your interlocutor is on the other side of the screen.
- Don’t reach for the phone. Do you like it when your interlocutor glances at his smartphone during a meeting? I guess not. So get your phone out of sight. After all, even if you have the sound turned off, the habit of looking at the screen may be stronger.
- Be punctual. There is nothing worse than having participants waiting for the host. It is better to show up an hour earlier than a minute later.
What else shouldn’t you do during a webinar? Read the 7 most common mistakes in hosting webinars and how to avoid them in this article.
Now, you’ve got a few tips that will make you look much better during video conferencing, easily and cost-effectively. Implement these changes gradually, but relentlessly, until you achieve perfection.
Don’t forget to check out MyOwnConference: you can sign in for a free trial and test our software.