5 Tips to Keep Your Crazy from Showing on Video Calls

by Cheryl Laaker Hall, Vice President of Marketing, July 14, 2020

Let’s face it, video calls on Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams are here to stay. Whether you are doing an interview for a TV station, having meetings with clients and colleagues, or talking with friends and family, your webcam can be your best friend or your worst enemy. So, here are some ways you can flatter your face and not distract from the conversation:

Look to the light

The easiest thing you can do is put your light source in front of you. Whether that’s a window, a lamp or one of those snazzy circle lights, having light in front of you accentuates and brightens your skin and takes unflattering shadows away from your best features. Never have light behind you. Back lighting causes harsh effects on the camera and causes you to look like you’re in a cave.

Put your webcam on a pedestal

Your camera or your laptop should literally have its own throne.  Low angles create a double-chin and allow viewers to see up your nose. Trust me, this is not a good look for anyone. Instead, your camera should be at eye level or higher. You can buy a lift for your laptop or simply place it on a box or stack of books.

Be ready for your close up

Webcams can be unforgiving. I’m not telling you to go out and have Botox or anything extreme, but comb your hair, add a touch of make up or a tinted moisturizer to even out your skin tone. Some programs even allow you to apply a filter, just don’t get too carried away. You should also wear solid colors and avoid sleeveless tops or anything off the shoulder. Remember, sit still. It’s natural to want to move around, but you need to keep your hand gestures to a minimum. When you move around a lot your background filter will constantly need to refresh and your image will fade in an out.

Minimize distraction

The dog is barking, your kids are having a sword fight and the doorbell rings. It’s everyday life. But when you’re on a video call you need to find a quiet space, behind a closed door. What is in your background can also be very distracting. A simple, clean background takes the focus off of what is behind you and places the focus on what you are saying.

Take a test drive

As with anything, practice makes perfect. Phone a friend to practice seeing yourself on your webcam. Look directly into the camera. Mind your mannerisms, and know what will happen when you dial in. If you have dual monitors and you’re tempted to look at the other one, turn it off during the call. If you have to do something, turn off your camera and mute yourself.

And, most importantly, don’t forget to smile!

Let’s face it, video calls on Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams are here to stay. Whether you are doing an interview for a TV station, having meetings with clients and colleagues, or talking with friends and family, your webcam can be your best friend or your worst enemy. So, here are some ways you can flatter your face and not distract from the conversation:

Look to the light

The easiest thing you can do is put your light source in front of you. Whether that’s a window, a lamp or one of those snazzy circle lights, having light in front of you accentuates and brightens your skin and takes unflattering shadows away from your best features. Never have light behind you. Back lighting causes harsh effects on the camera and causes you to look like you’re in a cave.

Put your webcam on a pedestal

Your camera or your laptop should literally have its own throne.  Low angles create a double-chin and allow viewers to see up your nose. Trust me, this is not a good look for anyone. Instead, your camera should be at eye level or higher. You can buy a lift for your laptop or simply place it on a box or stack of books.

Be ready for your close up

Webcams can be unforgiving. I’m not telling you to go out and have Botox or anything extreme, but comb your hair, add a touch of make up or a tinted moisturizer to even out your skin tone. Some programs even allow you to apply a filter, just don’t get too carried away. You should also wear solid colors and avoid sleeveless tops or anything off the shoulder. Remember, sit still. It’s natural to want to move around, but you need to keep your hand gestures to a minimum. When you move around a lot your background filter will constantly need to refresh and your image will fade in an out.

Minimize distraction

The dog is barking, your kids are having a sword fight and the doorbell rings. It’s everyday life. But when you’re on a video call you need to find a quiet space, behind a closed door. What is in your background can also be very distracting. A simple, clean background takes the focus off of what is behind you and places the focus on what you are saying.

Take a test drive

As with anything, practice makes perfect. Phone a friend to practice seeing yourself on your webcam. Look directly into the camera. Mind your mannerisms, and know what will happen when you dial in. If you have dual monitors and you’re tempted to look at the other one, turn it off during the call. If you have to do something, turn off your camera and mute yourself.

And, most importantly, don’t forget to smile!