How are you? We’ve been starting off a lot of our communications with that recently. Between quarantine, the kids being home, maintaining a social life, and your 10th video call this week we know you’re going through a lot! Not to worry! The team at D.M. Burton is here to take something off your plate and help you look BETTER on a zoom call.
Its about more than clothes!
Video calls give people on the other side of the screen a chance to see into your surroundings, and lets face it, the way we live says a lot about us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t portray the image you want while at home. Recently I was on a video call that featured an elected official and workers for the Small Business Administration. Although the Congressman was clearly at home you could tell he had taken the time to position himself in front of an American flag, a bookshelf, and a globe. Before I could even judge what he was saying I was subconsciously thinking “This guy is an intelligent patriot and global citizen”. What kind of image are you trying to portray to your audience? If you’re a business consultant, perhaps you want a whiteboard with to-do lists and charts behind you or if you’re a small business owner whose business has been affected by Covid-19, perhaps you sit in front of your logo, because hey, we all need free advertising right now. Whatever you decide, remember that people will judge you on your surroundings whether consciously or subconsciously, so remember to put your best foot forward.
One thing to avoid when setting up your physical space is anything that may be controversial. We know, we know, you love your picture of President Obama! But think about who’s going to be on the call and if anyone will be offended or feel some type of way about it. If its a call with family members or the local Democratic party, sitting in front of your President Obama picture may be a great idea. However, if you’re on a call for work or a Board you serve on it may be better to choose another location for your call.
How to Dress
Its about the occasion!
How you dress is always important to making a good impression. But, can be particularly important during the quarantine. What kind of image do you want your friends, neighbors, co-workers to have of you during this time? Do you want to look like the messy mom whose house is overrun by the kids? Or the well put together badass whose mastering quarantine? With all this in mind, the D.M. Burton team recommends some do’s and don’t of Dressing for Success on a Video Call.
Wear a patterned shirt- Your webcam may distort and vibrate the colors on your shirt and make it hard for people to see you.
Don’t wear noisy and sparkly jewelry- Sparkly jewelry can throw off the contrast on your webcam and there is already enough background noise on Video Calls. Yes, we are looking at you with the 5 dogs.
Be shirtless- No one wants to see that… unless it’s one of THOSE video calls…
Wear a solid colored shirt- Be sure that the color contrasts with your background, so if your background is predominately white, don’t wear a white shirt.
Wear breathable clothes- The last thing you want is to look like Lebron James at the end of a basketball quarter.
Be comfortable from the waist down- One of the beauties of a video call is no one sees what you’re wearing below the waist, so be comfortable! Wear sweat pants, flip flops, go commando… just be sure to turn off your camera if you do decide to stand up you don’t want to end up like this
Show up and Show out
Its all about you!
Confidence is the intangible that brings any look together and it’s no different for video calls. Sit up tall, look directly into the camera, speak clearly and audibly. Doing these things will instantly make you look better! In addition, watch your body language. It is very easy to get caught squinting at the screen with your arms folded if you aren’t careful, remember people are always watching and may even have your camera pinned meaning they can see you in FULL SCREEN. You didn’t think this video call would turn into your big-screen debut, did you? No need to worry, just as Actors have time to practice before a Video shoot, so do you! Here’s how: Put on your best outfit, set up your physical space, be confident, and pull up your webcam app and see how you look. My guess is you already look fabulous and these tips are just the icing.