Working from home has accelerated the practice of having virtual meetings. Tech companies scrambled to catch up with Zoom, the company that raked in revenues in the first months of global lockdowns. Now there are more options for videoconferencing needs, which is good because chances are this practice is going to stay beyond the pandemic. So how do we look good during virtual meetings?
First there was athleisure wear and that’s still relevant but the trend nowadays is loungewear. On one end of the range you have comfortable clothes in breathable fabric, loose styles, with lots of garter. On the other end, you have dusters or jammies, in breathable fabric, loose styles, with lots of garter. I just read an article entitled “Sweatpants Forever” in The New York Times Magazine, and I have to say, if this is fashion then I’m all for it.
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There’s more to it than just swapping the pj top with smart office wear or a nice tee before you can safely say that you’re good to go to a virtual meeting. I’m talking only about looks and not what you have in your head.
If you want to have a background which would highlight your employee-of-the-month aura, read this post. There are tips on the kind of backdrop, paint colors, and decor that could help bring out your star quality. Remember that in virtual meetings, it is so easy to be overlooked especially if you act like a wallflower.
Tip: If you love to wear pastels or neutrals, then have vibrant colors on your wall for contrast. If you want to wear clothes in bright hues, then a neutral-colored wall would make you stand out. You’d need the extra advantage if there are many participants in the meeting.
To know more about cool color combinations, read Basic Color Schemes To Help You Choose a Paint Palette.
Three Ways to Ace Your Virtual Meetings
Choose Clothes in Solid Colors
Stay away from prints when attending a virtual meeting. So when you go online shopping for your loungewear, choose clothes in solid colors. Anything printed should be for the real lounging, when you’re out on a date with Netflix. When WFH, avoid sleeveless tops and plunging necklines which are better worn for virtual meetings with friends and family. Otherwise, it’s WTF.
A plain top will give your image on the screen a block of color, while prints will distract the eye with all those details.
Need I mention good grooming here? Don’t look like you rolled off the bed after a late night binge. It’s unprofessional. And even if we are all giving each other so much latitude these days because of the pandemic, people can still be judgy.
Light is Your Friend
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Let there be light and if it’s natural and streaming into the room, face it because it’s your friend. All that light is gonna make you look pretty! This is an old trick in filmmaking: give the illusion of no wrinkles and blemishes with super soft light and a large light source.
Position your laptop or computer in front of a window. If the light is too harsh, draw those sheer white curtains to diffuse the light. Make sure that your backdrop perfectly brings out the plain top you have on. Then you’d look like an angel that has come down from heaven to bring a killer solution to that business problem that has stymied everyone. Maybe.
If it’s late and there is no beautiful sunlight streaming in, position a lamp behind your laptop and in front of your face. This isn’t the usual three-point lighting for a vlog set-up. On-cam pros use a ring light. But if you don’t have the budget for it and if looking air-brushed is not one of your goals in life, a lamp behind your laptop should be good enough.
Raise Your Laptop
Your laptop or computer camera should be at eye level or a little higher (not too high that you’d get a crick in the neck). I am sure you know this because most people I saw in restaurants (long ago and far away) seemed to be able to do selfies like a pro. Have that smize ready but don’t make that duck face, sparrow face, and not even the much more flattering fish gape.
For those who don’t know why you need to raise your laptop (have you been hiding under a rock?), it is because having the camera at eye level or higher makes you look good. Furthermore, people don’t have to see what’s inside your nose and no one has to be privy to your double chin.
Aside from blinding your colleagues with your scintillating personality and brilliant mind, remember that you can stand out more in that grid of faces onscreen by choosing your colors well.
Plain top + a wall with a complementary color behind you = a successful-looking you
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