When family is scattered across the country, or the globe, video chat is a quick and easy way to stay in touch. But over the last few years, it’s also become integral to the way people do business.
TV stations use video chat for remote interviews. The first rounds of job interviews are often done via video chat. And in highly visual business, like fashion, video chat is used as an everyday tool for collaborating.
Dialing in with your webcam, though, isn’t the same as showing up in person. The rules of engagement are different. So follow these tips to ensure you’re putting your best face forward.
1. Choose a plain backdrop
Pick a blank wall or drapery for a warm textured look. A bookcase, a desk with stacks of papers or anything else that looks busy will draw the eye away from you.
2. Get the light right
Place a bright light behind your webcam that casts an even light over your face. Or, make sure you have lots of natural or indirect light around you.
3. Wear dark colors
Light colors and patterns draw the eye away from your face.
4. Apply more make-up
You are on camera after all, so you’ll need to apply more make-up than usual. However don’t overdo the eyes, though make sure to brighten the area underneath, and focus on applying a really good base.
5. Don’t shout
Be conscious of your tone of voice and don’t talk too loudly. Many people unconsciously raise their voices when they’re using a webcam, like they do on cell phones.
6. Don’t lean in
While it may be tempting to lean in toward the camera, don’t do it. If you get too close your image will become distorted. And if you’re using a smartphone or tablet, get a stand, like the Anker Multi-Angle Portable Stand ($11.99 on Amazon), to keep the image steady.
7. Minimize your movements
Motion often results in blurring, causing the viewer to lose your facial expressions. And, if you talk with your hands, the constant motion is very distracting.
8. Make eye contact with the camera
While it’s tempting to make eye contact with the person you’re chatting with or check yourself out, don’t do it. The viewer will see you looking down or to the side. Instead, look directly into the camera to make eye contact. Putting your webcam at eye level can help.
Take shots of different sides of your face and see which one looks the best. Figure out where the best place is to sit and how far you can move before moving out of the frame.
With a good location, a bit of make-up and a little practice, you can feel confident logging into your next important video chat.