Zoom video calls – How to look better basics.

Are you looking to connect online using online video tools such as Zoom?
Here are a few tips on making your videos look better.

It’s fair to say that a lot of people are turning to online forms of communication at the moment. So, things like Zoom are becoming more and more popular.  From friends & family to businesses and networking meetings.

As such a few of my clients asked me for a few tips on how to improve the way that they look on their Zoom calls.

While I have lots of fancy gear (visual content creation with photography & video) that I can use to create professional-looking visuals, I’m also aware, not everyone is going to have access to that kind of equipment.

With that in mind, here are a few quick wins that anyone can do just using their existing webcam or phone.

Here is an example of a friend of mine. I asked her to set up as she normally would when going online and using Zoom

How not to do a zoom video call

Whilst there’s not necessarily anything wrong with the image and I can recognise who it is, there’s still a lot we can do to improve without any fancy gear at all.

  1. The eyes have no sparkle and they look dull and flat and there’s no real-life to them.
  2. The contrast between the bright side of her face and the dark side of the face is very strong, giving a harsh feel. It’s hiding her face in shadow, making it quite unflattering.
  3. The camera appears to be lower than her eye level causing her to lean forward, almost hunched down towards the camera, which I’m sure she wouldn’t do in a face to face meeting.
  4. While the background is clear-ish, the picture behind is coming out of the back of her head, which can be a little distracting to somebody watching

I then took Jasmine through some simple steps during a 1-1 session and this is what we came up with.

How to do a zoom video call
  1. We’ve now got life and sparkle back in her eyes
  2. we’ve got a much cleaner light across her face and this is so much more flattering than before.
  3. The camera has been raised slightly so that it’s closer to an eye level and she’s now sitting up, looking approachable, alert and interested as she is.
  4. We’ve also moved her slightly off centre and made use of her business banner to cover up some of the distractions in the background that reinforces her brand

Watch the video to see a demonstration of some of the principles using my own mobile phone.

So, to summarise what I’ve covered.

  1. Light from the front and where possible, use natural light.
  2. Raise the camera so the angle is just above the eye line. It lifts your head, opens your eyes to the light. It could also hide those chins if you know what I mean
  3. If you’re worried about the background, you can always use your phone in portrait mode to hide what’s more behind you. Or use a banner if you have one. (I’ll cover virtual backgrounds in another post!)
    But as long as you can find a tidy spot, from my experience most people are more concerned about their backgrounds than they are of yours
  1. While I didn’t go into detail in the post, I mentioned in the video about, using earphones and a mic to help reduce echo and distracting background noises.

Hope you found this useful?

It’s all simple stuff, but if you apply these simple principles as I’ve described in this post and in demonstrated in the video, you’re already going to be looking better than the vast majority of zoom calls I see!

If you would like a more detailed analysis of your setup where we can ‘walk’ (virtually) through your setup then feel free to schedule a call and book in a 1-1

Also keep an eye out on my social media feeds (especially LinkedIn. as I’ll be releasing details soon about my confidence with ‘live’ video coaching where we explore these principles as well as help you get more confident in front of the camera!