Va-Va-Va- Zoom: How To Look Fabulous on Zoom Meetings Every Time
Now that Zoom meetings are just a part of everyday life for most of us, it is good to know how to look our best in the virtual world too. Whether it be an actual office meeting or a virtual happy hour with the girls there are simple tricks that can help us look great without feeling like we have to put stage makeup on.
First, the technical stuff:
So you can use a different camera than the one that is installed on your laptop if you want to go this route. Get the specs and the differences for using one of these cameras vs. the one on your laptop
But if you choose to roll with the camera that you have, that’s fine too. You can still use these tips to make sure you are rockin’ it in your virtual meetings.
Play with the angle of camera by adjusting your screen slightly. Don’t go overboard and push it so far back that everyone can see up your nose. That’s not good for anyone. But you don’t have to have it directly centered on your face either. If you tilt it back ever so slightly, it can have a slimming effect on your face. Its the same as tilting a mirror back slightly. You know what I’m talkin’ about ladies. Like the mirrors in the dressing rooms back in the good old days when we used to be able to go shopping. We all got hip to this trick quickly when we went from “goddess” in the dressing room to “ mom of 3 who hasn’t slept in 12 years” when we got back home and saw ourselves in our own mirrors. You get my point. Tilt the screen, just a little.
Face The Light
Don’t put your laptop where the light is directly behind you Yes. I know. We are all angels and everyone should see us in all of our glory with our halos. Just not on Zoom. If the light is directly behind you, you can appear as though you are crossing over to the other side. You get a translucent effect like you’re one of the McFly kids in that photo from Back to the Future where everyone is disappearing.
On the flip side, if you don’t have enough light in the room and its too dark, you can appear to have a floating head. The best advice here is to make sure you are FACING the light.
And sunlight is best, no need for artificial light unless it is a night meeting.
This one can be a doozy for most of us. Especially since EVERYONE is at home, ALL THE TIME. Its hard to keep your house in the condition you’d like now that we’ve been grounded by Uncle Sam. But before joining a meeting with your co-workers, boss, or business partners, know that a clean background looks waaaaayyyyy more professional than toys and dirty clothes all over the place. You don’t need to make your house shine like the top of the Chrysler Building, just make sure that what is seen by the camera is clean. So open up your laptop, open FaceTime or Zoom just to get an idea of what everyone is seeing behind you. I have read so many stories where women are on their Zoom meetings in their bedrooms (for a quiet undisturbed environment) only to have their husbands come prancing out of the shower, completely naked and walk in view of the camera. We are charting new territories here so its expected that we run into little snafus here and there. Don’t let this be one of them. Please.
If you can’t find a suitable spot in your house that you can clean, you can use virtual backgrounds. You can even find free ones. Some people find these a little cheesy. I personally find them boatloads of fun.
Do Not Disturb Sign
This one is really a judgement call. Depending on your situation, a DO NOT DISTURB sign could be important. If you have a super formal work environment or are discussing confidential information, and need absolute privacy for your meeting, this could apply to you.
No looking at phones or other devices while on a Zoom meeting. A good rule of thumb for this (and all of these tips for that matter) is to act like you are attending the meeting in person. Would you look at your phone if sitting in a meeting room at work? Treat the meeting as if it were happening face to face.
Turn video off if you get up to go to bathroom and mute the audio.
This tip should be obvious but not only does it keep things professional, it also keeps every one from seeing your wardrobe mullet. Let’s face it ladies, that’s basically what we have going on here. Business up top and party at the bottom.
Touch up My Appearance (umm yes please).
If you go to the Video icon at the bottom of an open Zoom screen and then go to video settings, there is a “touch up my appearance” setting. Who knew? And why isn’t this the default? While you’re hanging out in settings, you’re gonna want to go ahead and click on “Enable HD” too. You’re welcome.
As much as it might be tempting to cuddle up in the recliner or get super comfy for your meeting, don’t. This isn’t a movie. Plus, the people in your office aren’t trying to know you like that. You don’t stroll over to Diane’s desk with a blanket and curl up in a chair to discuss expense reports in the office, don’t do it here either. Sit up straight, look people in the eye ( as much as you can on a virtual meeting) and as my late grandmother would say, “Act like somebody.”
Professional top, not your gym clothes.
But again, depends on your audience. Maybe you run the business and its a personal training business and gym clothes are fine. Again, how would you dress to go into work? It really is simple.
There are tricks to making yourself look your best without having to put on a full face of makeup. So yes, while we try to treat these meetings as we would treat face to face meetings as much as possible, we also recognize that it just isn’t practical to put on a full face of “going to the office” makeup when we are staying home and seeing colleagues for only an hour a day. When you open your computer to see what your background looks like, give yourself a quick once over too. I know from experience that depending on what day it is, I may need a totally different fix than I needed yesterday to look my best. But most of the time, most of us can benefit from color on our lips and a quick sweep of bronzer to replace some of the color the camera takes away.
Check the RBF.
We all know about it and we all have one. And RBF (resting bitch face) is stealthy. It can sneak up on us and take over and we don’t even know. But just try to be mindful that we aren’t looking completely annoyed and bored. I personally struggle with this one, not because I am annoyed or bored. Hardly. Its quite the opposite, I am usually trying to figure out how I am going to get everything done that I want to do. The point is, my mind is off spinning wheelies somewhere and I can easily end up looking disengaged which is not the goal here.
Now for The YOU stuff: Again, all of these tips can be addressed by asking one question. “Would I do this in person?” Like I said earlier, you want to treat it as a face to face meeting
And there it is, gorgeous. Easy tips to keep you looking good on camera. Let me know what you think or if you have a tip you have found to be helpful. I love hearing from y’all and am always looking for ways to be my best. Until our next sesh… Tootaloo.