How to Look Professional During Zoom MeetingsChances are that you’ve found yourself in quite a few virtual meetings lately. Although you may be working from home during Zoom meetings, it’s still important to appear professional.

Prepare for the meeting as if you were participating in person. Take a shower, get dressed appropriately, and make sure your surroundings appear professional and neat.

Zoom meetings won’t be going away any time soon, so here are some tips on how to use your virtual meeting time as effectively as possible along with some of my product suggestions.

Looking Good On Camera

looking professional on zoom meetingsLighting is crucial to looking good on camera. Don’t sit in front of bright windows, which can create a dark silhouette, and utilize tools designed for online meetings like lighting kits.

There are a lot of options available whether you’re going for an entire lighting kit or just a single lamp. What I have found works best for me is the Miady LED desk lamp. It’s a ring light that has 3 adjustable lighting modes along with 3 different brightness levels per mode. The flexible neck of the lamp allows me to adjust the angle to get the perfect lighting during Zoom meetings.

What’s Behind You?

Choose a dedicated space, like a home office, to help you be intentional about what is seen in the background of your videos. Don’t have distracting things like dirty laundry lying around in the background that may appear unprofessional. Especially if you are interviewing for a new job. These all contribute to first impressions with people you’ve never interacted with before.

Choose Your Camera Angle Wisely

Place your camera angled slightly down toward you. Have the camera close enough that the other parties on the call feel connected to you but not so close that you end up with a distorted face.

To keep my camera angle consistent I use a laptop stand that has a slight angle built into the design and also allows me to keep a healthier posture throughout the day.

zoom meetings camera angle

Improve Your Video Quality

Invest in a higher quality camera for virtual meetings, especially if you’re meeting with clients multiple times during the week.

There are better external cameras available to use for your virtual Zoom meetings, but I just roll with the onboard camera of my MacBook Pro.

The camera technology on Apple products has come so far and actually outperforms many dedicated cameras on the market. As long as you’ve got your lighting squared away, it’s going to make your camera selection easier and probably less expensive.

Remember too, that your internet connection will have an effect on the video quality of your Zoom meetings. Too many devices using it at the same time could have a negative effect, so ensure your internet connection is dedicated to your Zoom meetings during the specified time.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Remember that old Verizon commercial where the guy walks around repeating “can you hear me now” into his cell phone? Many times that we went up doing for the first few minutes of a Zoom meeting. Not cool.

How you sound is almost as important as how you look during virtual meetings. A quality microphone or headphones can make a big difference in how you are perceived during the meeting.

This, from my personal experience, has been the bastard child of Zoom meetings. Either the audio cuts out constantly or there are issues getting your headphones to work with Zoom. This is something you definitely need to test prior to entering the meeting.

I prefer to use my Beats Bluetooth earbuds. They are low profile and don’t look nearly as hideous as someone wearing a gamer headset. Yes they are more expensive, but you also get what you pay for. Spend once, cry once. The investment will be worth it. If you’re lucky you’re company might even float the bill for them.

Dressing For Success

To be honest, no one is probably going to see you from the waist down, so there’s no excuse to not dress up from the waist up! Make sure you look polished not only for the other parties on the call but for your own confidence too.

dressing for zoom meetings

Getting fitted for a custom suit (author)

How would you normally dress going into the office or a meeting? That’s how you should be dressing for your virtual meetings too. It’s much more than just looking professional. Taking the time to make sure you’re squared away shows that you care about your appearance and the task at hand. Sure you can dress down a bit since it’s virtual and you may be working from home, but still keep it business casual at a minimum.

Also, I tip I use which might be more of a mental hack for productivity is to wear shoes while working from home. Yes nobody can see them, but just like you would put shoes on prior to leaving your home to go into the office, still put them on. You’re still going to work; your commute has just changed from driving into the office to walking down the steps or hallway of your house. Putting my shoes on in the morning signals to my brain that it’s time to work.

Log Into Your Meeting Early

Log in to your meetings a few minutes early to test your microphone, make sure the background is good to go, and that your lighting is how you like it.

log in early to zoom meetings

Also, make sure you have all the necessary documents pulled up. You don’t want to be fumbling through files or notes while you’re trying to focus on what you’re saying.

If you’re lucky enough to have dual monitors, pull up all the information you’re going to need for the call. Come prepared and then some.

Smile and Make Eye Contact

If you’re distracted, it shows. Make eye contact with whoever is sharing on the call and pay attention to what they are saying. Keep in mind, too, that your facial expressions are communicating to everyone else how you’re feeling, even if you’re not doing the talking.

smile during zoom meetings

Combine all of these tips so that you’re better equipped to represent both yourself and your company. Present yourself as a professional and you’ll have more successful Zoom meetings.

If you’re interested in taking a look at any of the products I mentioned, here are the Amazon links.

By Published On: April 16, 2021Categories: Career Growth

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