Since "stay-at-home" orders have gone into effect workers across the US have become regular users of video conferencing platforms like Zoom.
Many adapted to the platforms with a "this is temporary" attitude. At this time, it's unsure exactly WHEN life will get back to "normal," so if you've been putting it off, there's no time like the present to polish up that Zoom presence!
Whether you are holding media interviews with reporters in New York or holding Zoom calls with clients, you want to look your best.
How can you enhance your Zoom appearance? Focus on these four areas:
If you do not have a designated home office and you’re looking for the best place to set up, start with your phone. Using selfie mode, take your camera through your house to find the best lighting. Diffuse natural lighting is best if you can find it. Try to find lighting that comes from the front – coming from the back or side will only cast shadows. If it is too dark, consider positioning a light behind your laptop or camera to improve the light quality.
Elevate your laptop or camera so you are looking directly into it or slightly up. Whatever you do – avoid positioning it so you must look down.
Avoid sitting to close to the camera or the wide-angle lens will distort the image.
Look at what is around you and what will appear on camera. Make sure it aligns with the image you hope to convey. Giving an interview to MarketWatch or CNBC? You probably do not want to set up your camera in front of a child’s playroom.
Practice and be sure anything appearing behind you is tidy, appropriate, and enhances the image you wish to project.
It may seem unusual to put on a suit to sit in your home office, but if you are participating in a media interview for the national press remember who your audience is. Even though you are working from home you are still the same person. You are able to provide expert commentary on the state of the economy and you should “dress the part.” Investors will likely view you as more knowledgeable and trustworthy than if you are wearing a sweatshirt and messy hair.
No one wants to shelter-in-place forever, but this is where things stand right now. Media appearances from home offices and client meetings could continue for a while so it is time to polish your process.
We have been helping our clients adapt to remote interviewing and we would be happy to work with you as well. Give us a call.
You may find our new paper, Does PR Make Sense for 2020, to be of interest.