It is essential to maintain a polished, professional image when working remotely and attending virtual meetings out of the office. As successful entrepreneurs and business executives, you should keep a good appearance when communicating through video meetings platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, etc.
Take care of all the details, even if your work environment is digital. Mind the space where you work from and the total appearance, even if only your upper body shows in the video call frame. From your clothes to your behavior, make sure that you convey the right image and represent your personal brand on camera. Book an image consultation at Style Konsult to get expert advice on how to present yourself online.
HOW TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION ON ONLINE MEETINGS
1. Take care of your overall image
For morning meetings, make sure to wake up with enough time to eat breakfast, take a shower, shave, do your morning skincare routine, style your hair, and dress properly for the meeting. Manage your time well so you get ready and focus at least 10 minutes before the meeting starts.
Also, pay attention to the setting and the lightning by doing some previous tests before entering the meeting. Always use your desk computer or laptop, never your smartphone. It makes the difference in the way you appear in professional online meetings. Show the best version of yourself on the screen to look as active, confident, engaged, and committed as you do in the office.
Keep in mind that the way you look is part of your non-verbal language. If your overall image is polished, it elevates the perception that your colleagues and/or employees have of you. Your communication and behavior should always match your image. So, avoid crossing your arms or resting your head on your hand.
Take advantage of the light, the backgrounds, and the camera angle to achieve the professional image you want to portray through the screen. You shouldn’t tilt your head up or down much, but look directly at the camera. The best option is to raise your laptop slightly with a monitor stand so that your camera is at eye level.
2. Dress elegantly and comfortably
You will be more engaged and productive if you dress for remote work. Dressing up to attend online meetings is beneficial for getting in the right headspace to stay focused. That is why putting on similar clothes to the ones you wear to the office, such as a shirt and a blazer, will help you work more efficiently.
To check on your outfits, do another video test after assembling your look to see how others will perceive you. Try on different shirt-jacket combinations. When you are satisfied with the image you are portraying, you will feel more self-assured in the virtual meeting.
Within the style of each person, it is convenient to dress in a business casual look, with which you will look polished and be comfortable. The best options are versatile solid-colored shirts, a jacket, or even a polo shirt. For the bottom, wear dress pants, chinos, or dark jeans, especially if you join the meeting at a public place. Above all, seek comfort to face online meetings in the most confident way.
Wearing a shirt is the best option to look refined and put-together in video conferences. During fall and winter you can also wear a sweater or vest over a shirt. The clothes that you should avoid wearing are:
- Casual clothes like t-shirts and joggers.
- Printed patterns and bold colors to minimize the distractions.
- Black shirts that can be perceived as harsh.
- White shirts that look too bright on camera and overpower your face.
Select shirts with solid colors depending on the background: if the background is dark, wear a light-colored shirt; if the background is light, wear a dark shirt in colors like navy.
For footwear, you can wear different types of comfortable shoes depending on the environment. If you work from a café or other public space, wear an elegant yet relaxed shoe like a pair of leather loafers or black Chelsea boots.
In case you work from home, you can keep the shoes you wear at home because your feet won’t show on the video call. It is not necessary to wear the formal Oxfords or brogues you’d wear to the office unless you work remotely from a formal place.
As for accessories, wearing a watch is appropriate. If you have an important meeting, you can wear cufflinks that will show when you do gestures with your hands while speaking. Unless it is essential due to the company’s dress code, you don’t need to wear a tie as it will get cut on the screen. It is up to you and the work etiquette.
3. Set a good background
The background of the video call is also linked to what you want to portray as a professional. You can use your home office or a calm room in your house as your regular online meeting setting. The spaces should be free of decorations and elements that saturate the frame. A solid plain wall always works. Above all, avoid showing messy and untidy spaces (an unmade bed, open closet…).
Make sure to have only one frame behind with little decorations and furniture, since they will cause visual discomfort and distractions. Don’t use virtual backgrounds, unless you have your company logo as a background. It gives the feeling that you want to hide something and you can generate speculation.
Light is another element to consider. It should come from behind and not from the front. Excess light can cause you to look too bright. Low light is also not recommended, since your facial expressions should be clear and visible. Find a place where you can have balanced lightning that shows your face without it being too bright. Avoid the sunlight from entering the room in the morning hours and open the windows blinds or shades during the evening.
From best to worst, here are the lighting sources you can use:
- Natural light
- Warm interior lighting
- White interior lighting
- The light from your computer screen
4. Avoid distractions
The safest way to attend virtual meetings is to do it from a calm space you know well in your home. That way, you will make sure that there is no noise or other external elements that interrupt you when you are speaking or distract you when you are listening to what others say. If you are with other people in the same space, let them know when you are attending the video calls and how long you will be connected.
Another option is to go to a café or an outdoor space. But, there you cannot control the external factors and you are at risk of being distracted. Make sure that you choose a place you already know well and where you have been plenty of times. That way, you will be able to know if it is quiet enough for you to attend an online meeting.
Other key tips to avoid distractions are:
- Silence your phone: Be sure to silence it or turn it off .
- Wear earphones: You will be more immersed in the meeting.
- Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking: Prevent the other people attending the meeting from hearing noises that interrupt them while talking.
- Don’t multitask: Focus completely on the meeting and the topic of discussion.
Book a personal branding session at Style Konsult to get expert advice on how to improve your image, behavior, and communication to grow as a professional. From your appearance to your online presence, our expert image consultant will give you all the tools you need to become the best version of yourself.
Also, you can use the STYiLES app to connect with image consultants worldwide that meet all your needs. Find your image consultant, book online or in-person consultations, and get a customized wardrobe, all in one place.
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