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How to Look Better (and Clearer) on Video Meetings

The COVID-19 outbreak has compelled health authorities to impose social distancing protocols to limit the spread of the virus. In the process, this compelled modern offices to move their employees to remote work arrangements to protect their health and safety. Although more employees are slowly returning to their offices, many still choose to work from home.

Shifting to a work-from-home setup means embracing a range of digital tools to facilitate interactions and manage work projects over the internet. As a result, people have become highly dependent on online platforms to support the remote work model. These include videoconferencing tools to handle communication lines between office workers.

The use of video chat tools has presented a huge challenge for workers have to sit in front of their computer screens in poorly lit rooms. Some are building their own home offices to look professional on screen and investing in lighting tools to look camera-ready at all times. Meanwhile, others resort to modern roller shades to adjust their level of lighting in their homes during meetings.

Lighting is everything during video meetings. In fact, having quality lighting for video meetings is the key to a productive session. This will help you create a favorable appearance for your boss, coworkers, and clients. To help you look great in your Zoom meetings, here are three tips to achieve great lighting.

Don’t underestimate natural lighting

If you want to look your best during Zoom calls, it’s best to start with lighting because this will dictate the best position where you’ll be sitting. Before you buy a ring light and lighting kit, remember that natural light is the best lighting source you could ever have.

Find an area in the house with access to natural lighting. Open the shades and let the sunlight pour in, but don’t let it hit your back. Too much brightness will make you look like a ghost. Instead, face the window or any brightest light source in the house. Facing the light will brighten up your face, making you look better on screen.

If your house doesn’t have a well-lit room, take the meeting outdoors. But this works only for people living in relatively peaceful areas. When using this option, be sure not to expose the entire background of your location during the meeting because this will reveal where you are. With a little creativity, you can make it look professional by making a few adjustments. Either way, constant access to natural lighting will enhance your look on the camera.

Invest in lighting equipment

ring light concept

If going outdoors is not an option, investing in lighting equipment is your best bet. There’s no need to purchase professional light equipment because the market offers a wide variety of lighting options for online meetings. These tools will help you get the correct light balance and provide a sharper look over the camera.

There are different lighting options to choose from but the first lighting tool you need is a LED light bulb. Why? First, they give off a color temperature that looks good on videos, and they don’t give off too much heat. Other light fixtures such as incandescent bulbs are notorious for warming up rooms, causing you to sweat profusely.

On the other hand, fluorescent or compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs cast a certain coloration that gives off an unflattering light. In this case, LED bulbs are your best friend, but be sure it’s a daylight bulb or anything that produces white light. You’ll also need three identical lights. Place one in front of your face, one at a 45-degree angle to the right and one 45-degree angle to the left.

To achieve a balanced natural light source, install ring lights, which are often used by models and vloggers. Key lights also make a great alternative light source and work well with side lighting.

Use the right camera tools

Now you got the lighting perfected, it’s time to get your camera set up ready. Whether you’re using a smartphone, laptop, or computer, make sure to connect the device to a stable internet connection to avoid disruptions during the meeting.

The choice of your video chat platform may depend on what your office uses. There are plenty of videoconferencing platforms to choose from, such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and Google Meet, among others.

When using the smartphone, use the front-facing camera instead of the rear-facing one so you can monitor the camera quality during the meeting. Otherwise, consider buying a high-quality webcam with advanced features and specs.

Investing in professional lighting is the secret to looking good at your Zoom meetings. This will not only allow your coworkers to see you clearly but also an opportunity to look your best and embody confidence despite the distance. As you move along with your meetings, you can experiment with your lighting setup and background to make it look professional and creative.

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