Lookin’ good on Zoom
Direct Travel's Joelle Goldman showing the do's and don'ts of Zoom

The do’s and don’ts for looking your best on Zoom

Remember your first Zoom call? Wasn’t it amazing? A miracle – like being there in person!

If you’re like me, and nearly everyone else, you have been spending a lot of time on Zoom. In many ways, it has been a lifeline during the pandemic: a terrific platform for webinars and professional development, meetings with colleagues and clients and even family.

Many of us even developed our ‘Zoom wardrobe’:  all business on top and all jammies below, like the woman in the hilarious Extra Gum commercial.

There are a few ways to avoid unflattering looks on your Zoom calls.

Peering down at the screen (never a good look – that double chin!). Invisible in the frame of a window full of daylight. Perhaps looking like just a tiny head, too far from the screen.  Or, in one case I had recently, a man veering in and out of focus which I finally figured out was because he was in a rocking chair!

Until face-to-face meetings become the norm again, here are some tips I try to follow:

  • Raise your laptop or phone until the camera is level with your face. No need for special equipment, a pile of books will work.
  • If you are sitting in front of or beside a window, draw the curtains. Natural light can be harsh and unflattering. Instead, put a table lamp behind the screen, it will give a much kinder light.
  • If it’s a professional call, dress professionally. Bright clothing will appear cheerful and make you stand out.
  • Look at the camera, not the screen. If you find the look of your own face too distracting, you can hide the self-view.
  • Check out your background. Some advisors like to show travel posters or a wall of diplomas and certificates. If you’re not happy with yours, you can download a destination ‘mood shot’ from Zoom or even simply make the background fuzzy.
  • Keep background noise to a minimum. Let those you live with know you’ll be on a call. Even if you are going to be muted for the entire call (e.g. a webinar), you may have to unmute to ask or respond to a question.

Next time, we’ll look at how to overcome Zoom fatigue. If you feel you are sometimes ‘Zoomed out’ you’ll want to look out for it!