- Have the right attire: professional clothing, ironed, neat hair, put together
- Display a professional background: neutral wall, no personal items, keep it professional, good lighting
- Avoid noisy areas: at home make sure people aren’t disrupting, avoid loud environments like bars and restaurants, turn off cell phone volume and any other sound distractions
- Have high quality video and internet: fast internet avoids lagging, good video quality makes you look professional, keep your conference moving and don’t create the need to repeat yourself
- Screen sharing can be a useful resource: helps keep all parties on the same page
With the mobility and remote opportunities that many business environments have these days, it is important to always put your best foot forward when video conferencing on behalf of your company. Often, meetings and conferences are done online and may have various employees calling in from outside of the office. With that being said, your company is depending on you to represent their image. As an employee, a polished, professional image is key to success in the business world both in person and online. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your professional image professional no matter where you are.
Have the Right Attire
Just like when you meet clients and customers in person, a sharp attire is essential to video conferences for your business. You should hold your attire to the same standards on video as you do in person. Often times business professional is the best approach, but each company has a standard for dress in and outside of the office. Along with having the right attire, keeping your clothes in pristine condition is a big factor. You could wear a 3-piece suit to try and impress clients, but if it’s wrinkled and dirty, your clients will not be impressed. Keeping clothes clean and ironed are simple things that can go a long way when it comes to your image in a video chat. And remember, having a well-coordinated or matching outfit goes a long way.
Other things that aid in your look is going to be your grooming. Even if you are comfortably set up in your home office or hotel room, make sure your daily grooming needs are taken care of. Keep your hair neat and orderly, trim or shape any facial hair, and make sure lunch didn’t stick around in your teeth. These may seem simple but doing a double check right before you hop on a video call could make a big difference.
Keep your Background Professional
Working from anywhere in the world can be a dream and sometimes a struggle. When making video calls for your business, keeping your background professional is very important. The first thing you need to do is make sure the area behind you is clean and orderly. All loose items need to be cleaned up and out of the way so there are minimal distractions for the other party. Any unprofessional photos, art, or furniture should also be out of camera view. People who don’t know you personally can be quick to judge. Your best bet when it comes to backgrounds for video are going to be neutral walls that are one color, such as white, gray, or tan.
Lighting is also crucial when it comes to your professional image. People are much more likely to do business with you if your lighting is bright and inviting instead of dark and dingy. White lights look much better than yellow, and natural lighting is always a big help.
Avoid the Noise
No matter where you are doing your video conference, noise should be at a minimum. If you are a work from home kind of person, it is important to know when people will be coming in and out of your home and try to avoid those times for your video. Having minimal sound distractions from people or animals helps keep your meetings moving smoothly. If you are working remote but outside the home, your location for videos is your number one priority. Try to avoid noisy places like bars and restaurants. Look for places that have a quieter feel, and maybe lots of furniture to absorb sound. Hotel rooms, libraries, business centers, and spare rooms in buildings can be places to look. And of course, keeping the distractions closest to you at a minimum are always good practice. Silence your phones and other devices to keep your sounds at a minimum during meetings and conferences.
Video and Internet Quality are Important
This may seem obvious but having a good internet speed is essential for doing business remotely and online. Nothing is worse than getting halfway through a meeting and your internet lagging, causing an image of you to freeze in what always seems to be the most unflattering expression. We want our clients and potential clients to take us seriously, not giggle at us when the video stalls out.
In a similar sense, having the right video quality shows a certain level of professionalism. Conducting a presentation to potential customers at a video quality of 240p will not give you any bonus points. The receiving individual might be too distracted by the fuzzy screen to listen to your presentation. In fact, it could send a message to that company that your technology is outdated and could give a negative image of your company. Finding the highest functioning combination of internet speed and video quality can be a major asset to any presentation or meeting.
Lastly, keep in mind technology is your friend. If the video platform offers better visual aids such as screen sharing, using your resources can help spice up your presentations, conferences, and meetings.