Did you know that 16% of companies in the world are completely remote?
Let’s face it, most of us are working from home right now – and it could very well be the new norm of how we do our jobs.
If you’re working from home, chances are you’ll have regular online meetings with colleagues and clients. You might have also hosted an online meeting where your neighbour decides to yell at the top of their lungs, making you look unprofessional.
Looking a little ruffled when you’re meeting with your colleagues is completely tolerable. But when you’re on a sales call with potential clients, your online meeting should look professional to create a positive first impression.
You don’t want to lose potential sales because your online meeting doesn’t look professional, right?
7 Ways to Make Your Online Meeting Looks More Professional
In this article, you’re going to learn 7 tips to make your online meeting look more professional.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Pick the proper meeting platform
The first tip in our list on making your online meeting look professional is by choosing the best online meeting platform for the occasion.
There are a plethora of free and premium online meeting platforms that you can use. You should choose a platform depending on what type of online meeting you’re hosting.
Most free platforms offer essential features that you’d need for a short meeting with a few attendants. But when it comes to hosting a more complex online meeting, you will need more than just the essentials.
Let’s say you’re teaching at a webinar for students or hosting one on behalf of your company. While it is doable with just the essential features, your online meeting can benefit from additional features such as surveys and a brandable interface.
Another example is when you’re hosting a team meeting with your colleagues. Features such as document sharing, multiple speakers, and private messaging can help you deliver a discussion space that feels and looks more professional.
2. Set a special room for your online meeting
The next thing you can do to enhance your online meeting is setting up a special home office or a separate room.
If you are among the 77% of people who are more productive when working from home, having a designated home office could skyrocket your output even more.
Ideally, you should have a room that has carpet and furniture in it. A carpeted room complete with well-positioned furniture tends to have the best acoustic for web conferences.
Having an online call in an empty and uncarpeted room can result in many echoes – which is not what you want for a meeting.
3. Create a good lighting setup
Having a video conference call in a dim room can make you look unprofessional. What’s even worse is if your laptop doesn’t have the best camera module, it won’t be able to show your face in low light conditions.
There are several effective ways to enhance the lighting for your online meetings:
- Move your desk next to a natural light source.
- Get a standalone ring light or desk light.
- Use a bright-colored desk to reflect light.
If your laptop’s camera still shows grainy video despite the excellent lighting, it might be time to get an external USB webcam with better image quality.
4. Test the technical aspects before the meeting
Nothing can make you look more unprofessional than having mic or camera problems in the middle of a video conference. This is why you should always perform a test run before actually jumping in on the meeting.
If you’re not sure how to test your online meeting setup for errors, follow these pointers:
- Join your meeting with a secondary device to see if there’s any problem with entering the room.
- Check if your mic is picking up your sound.
- Try speaking with your secondary device to see if your speaker is working correctly.
- Test your camera to ensure it’s feeding to the meeting platform.
- Do a presentation dry run to see if your screen sharing works correctly.
- Ensure that you have a stable internet connection.
While you can’t completely prevent technical issues, conducting a dry run can minimize the risk of errors happening in the middle of a meeting.
5. Raise your camera to eye-level
Most people tend to position their laptop flatly on their desk, which leads to the camera showing your face at an awkward angle.
If your laptop is sitting below eye level from you, there’s a good chance that you will show your nostrils in your online meetings – and that’s not a flattering angle for most people.
Use laptop stands to raise its position to eye-level, or get a tripod if you’re using an external webcam. Lifting your camera position will create a more natural image as if you and your meeting partner are sitting across from each other.
6. Turn on do not disturb on your devices
It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but having your phone go off in the middle of an online meeting could be distracting for you and other participants. In a webinar or large-scale conference setting, the slightest distraction could result in you looking unprofessional.
In addition to your phone, you should also turn off notifications on your laptop or desktop computer. The last thing you want to happen in a webinar is having 100+ people reading a personal email notification in the middle of your presentation.
7. Dress up properly
The key to making your online meeting look professional is by, well, looking professional. Try to dress the part by wearing an appropriate outfit when presenting a webinar or at a video conference.
If it’s an audio-only call and there’s zero chance that you will turn on your camera, feel free to stay in your pyjamas and wrinkly t-shirt. But even if there’s a slight chance that your superiors or meeting partners will ask you to turn on your video, you should wear proper attire to avoid the awkward “hold on, let me put on my clothes” pause.
Ready to Level Up your Online Meeting?
Although online meetings seem like a trivial matter these days, some situations can make you look unprofessional to your meeting partners.
Since 85% of managers believe that remote working will be the new norm, there’s nothing wrong with levelling up your professionalism during online meetings.
Making your online meetings look more professional is not always about using fancy software and an HD camera. Simply dressing up for the part and preparing an ideal environment could result in an efficient meeting.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).