8 tips for looking good on video conference calls

Make sure your sound and lighting don’t ruin your presentation. Don’t forget to check your background, too.

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The coronavirus pandemic has made video conferencing essential. If you’re not careful, though, your colleagues and clients will focus more on how you look than what you say.

We’ve got 8 tips from Ken Barber, a former cameraman with ABC affiliates who has been part of Mower’s media training team for almost 30 years. He knows where to sit, what to wear, how to light the room—and how to avoid the dreaded “nostril shot.”

Ken’s biggest suggestion: practice before your web meeting. Whether you’re granting reporters an interview, pitching clients or talking internally, you should first put your phone on selfie mode and place it next to your computer.

If you don’t like the results, here’s what Ken recommends:

1. Check your sound. Wear a headset or sit close to the mic. Headsets minimize background noise, such as barking dogs and noisy kids.

2. Choose the best lighting. Use a small table lamp with a shade and either an old-school incandescent bulb or an LED light with a lower color temperature (look for bulbs 3000k or lower). You can slide it as close or as far as you need, but this will cast a warmer, soft light that overpowers the light from the computer screen. Make it look like there’s natural light, as if you’re outside and the sun is shining at a 45-degree angle.

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