In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, downloads of online meeting apps are surging—and most of us are participating in a lot more online meetings than we previously did.
Whether you’re meeting up with friends for an online happy hour or doing all your work meetings online, you want to look decent in this format.
But looking good in an online meeting is a skill. If you don’t love how you look in these meetings, there are some very specific steps you can take to improve your appearance. Here are a few ideas:
Light Your Face the Right Way
Ideally, you’ll want to place your computer in front of a window so your face is lit straight on with natural light. Front-facing light will illuminate your skin evenly, even out any blemishes and irregularities, and give your features a clear, bright quality.
If you can’t use a window, try placing a lamp behind your laptop so it illuminates your face straight on.
Keep Your Camera at Eye-Level or Higher
Another important point is to avoid positioning your computer camera so it’s looking up at you from below.
Even a small upward-facing angle can present your face in an unflattering light. If you have to, raise your laptop up on a stack of books or a laptop stand.
Take Care of Your Skin
Before you go online, be sure to check your face in the mirror and take care of any skin issues that will be clearly visible on camera.
Computer cameras can highlight skin issues. Some things you may not be able to take care of immediately—although it’s always a good time to start practicing better skincare.
But look out for issues like oily skin or chapped lips that may be distracting on camera, and blot or wash your face before going online. A tinted moisturizer can also help even your skin tone.
Be Aware of When You Can Be Seen
When you’re on a video call, you’re visible at all times—unless you turn your camera off. You can’t behave the way you would on a voice-only conference call.
It’s not unusual for people to visibly lose interest, start looking through their phones or surfing the web during an online call if they’re not the one speaking. Be aware of when others can see you, and be sure to stay engaged—or at least look like you are.
Conducting meetings online may be the new normal for the time being—but you don’t have to dislike how you look in an online meeting. Use these basic tips to make yourself look better on camera, and hopefully you’ll be able to make a better impression.