With working from home becoming the new norm, a lot of us (ourselves included) are rocking yoga pants or sweats all day. However, every once in a while, we still need to look our best during an important presentation or meeting. How you present yourself physically and visually on a virtual call can have a huge impact on the way your message is perceived. It can add to or detract from your message, depending on the effort you put in. Your physical appearance reflects on you and what you represent.
Of course, that doesn't mean that you can't add any personality or originality to your overall appearance! It does mean, however, that you may want to put in the extra effort to ensure that you look your best in camera.
Ideally, you want to make sure that you're wearing well-fitted clothing. For some people, that has become an increasing problem throughout the last couple of years, especially if you haven't yet had a chance to go shopping. That's okay! Take the opportunity to invest in some clothing that fits you well. Even one or two outfits for your big presentation days can make a big difference in your overall confidence.
If you want to look your best on camera, aim for solid-colored outfits in jewel tones: ruby red, sapphire blue, emerald green, or amethyst purple, for example. Be careful that your colors aren't too bright, especially in the case of reds. If you're going to choose green, make sure you aren't using a green screen-style background option. Also, make sure your outfit choices don’t wash you out!
Busy patterns can draw the eye and impact how the camera picks up the pattern, which could prevent you from looking your best. When in doubt, we recommend a dark blue (non-patterned) top.
You may be tempted to sport your favorite branded clothing. Unless it's clothing for your company, you may want to avoid brands and logos when you know you're going to be on camera. Not only can they cause a copyright issue (or display a clear conflict of interest, especially if you're wearing a competitor's gear) but they may distract from the flow of what you have to say. Many people have strong opinions about brands that could color how they feel about your presentation subconsciously – and could prevent your message from being heard clearly.
Make sure that your clothing is neat and tidy. Just as you would tidy up before an in-person presentation, make sure that your clothing is neat and ready to go before you step on camera for your meeting. Avoid clothing that is wrinkled or that will wrinkle quickly when seated. Check to make sure that your clothing is not too heavy, too. Ideally, you want to be comfortable throughout the meeting, not sweating into your sweater.
Pre-meeting is also a great time to neaten up the rest of your appearance: to check your makeup, tame flyaway hair, and make sure that your background is professional and ready to go.
Jewelry is a great way to showcase who you are as part of your meeting outfit. However, you should make sure that it isn't too distracting! Take the time to make sure that your jewelry doesn't make unnecessary noise when you're on camera, particularly in the case of multiple necklaces or bracelets. If you notice any clacking or clattering when you move, you may want to remove your jewelry for the meeting in order to reduce distraction. When in doubt, consider hopping on a quick video meeting with a trusted friend and testing whether your jewelry makes any noise.
If you know that you're going to be headed in for a big meeting ahead of time, take the time to test out your look on-camera before the meeting itself. Check your lighting and your environment. You may want to have a trusted friend or colleague check volume levels and make sure that nothing distracting is taking over the camera.
Your appearance is certainly not the most important thing about your meeting. However, it can have a heavy impact on your confidence and on others' confidence in you. With these suggestions, you can make yourself look your professional best anytime you need to log in for a remote call. As a result, you'll keep the attention where it belongs: on the quality of your work and efforts.
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