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Are you serving your VERY BEST STYLE in video conferences?
Let’s face it – COVID-19 is rapidly changing the way many of us communicate – especially in the business world with our colleagues, business partners, and clients. With social distancing at the forefront, we’re leveraging video conference tools like never before.
From chats I’ve been having with my clients recently, quite a few of them feel out of their comfort zone shifting to a full-on “video life” when it comes to work – are you feeling the same? 😬
Never before has our image and personal brand been SO important! With that in mind, I’m sharing my top tips on How to Rock Your Video Conference in Style…
Your image literally precedes you in these situations. Think about it – unless one works from home, most of us are used to the occasional one-on-one video conference or small group meeting – we can handle that, right? But now, with shelter-in-place in full swing across the U.S. and larger co-located teams meeting on a bigger scale virtually via Zoom, Skype for Business, or MS Teams, you’re being seen/heard by a LOT more people. People that are your leaders, your influencers, or perhaps your next boss! So you want to make sure that you’re absolutely nailing your video conference style!
My quick, practical tips guide you on the DOs and DON'Ts of what to wear and how to “show up” for your video conferences. (Oh, and it’s not all about clothes either!) 😉
And don’t worry – these tips are great for both the video conference newbie AND the seasoned video presenter. I’ve got you! 🙌🏽
And if you prefer to read though my tips, just scroll past the video…
Here are my definite DO’s that you should keep in mind as you think about your web camera presence.
- Always wear presentable clothing – don’t look like an unprepared person who seems to have just rolled out of bed and is running late to the meeting. Details matter and the camera can pick up much more than you know (especially on newer desktops and laptops offering HD quality video and recording). Make sure that your clothes are wrinkle-free, pill-free, and fade-free – remember details matter and your wardrobe choice is a direct reflection of you!
- Take this unique opportunity to rediscover and have FUN with your style (at least from the waist up!). Break out that awesome blouse or scarf that you’ve been wanting to try out, but maybe didn’t have anything appropriate to pair it with on your bottom half. Unless you’re standing in your video conference, this would be an opportune time to rock that item! Or try something new altogether style-wise!
- Wear fun, bold colors (within your color palette, of course) or patterns to help you visually “pop” out of the background. Take this opportunity to stand out (without being distracting – more on that in the DON'Ts section). 😉 Just don’t fade into the background like everyone else.
- Leverage your statement accessories such as fun glasses (or readers), scarves, jewelry, and headbands.
- Keep your nails well-manicured! If you’re like me and talk with your hands, make sure they’re looking their best! If you typically frequent the nail salon, I know it may be tough to easily stay on top on having fresh nails. But it’s not anything that can’t be remedied with nail clippers or a bottle of nail polish from your local drug store. Remember, that’s how we used to do it back in the day!
- Sit with excellence poise and posture. Don’t be “that person” who is slouching, hunched over, or hovering all over the computer screen. And here’s a quick tip on how you can rock your best posture all the time… Pretend that there’s an imaginary string running through the center of the top half of your body (from your hips all the way through the top of your head). The string is perfectly straight, therefore, your posture is straight.
Also, an easy way to maintain excellent poise and posture during a video conference is to simply NOT rest your back against the chair – this naturally makes you sit up at a perfect right angle.
One other aspect I want you to always think about is that your poise and posture are a direct reflection of your engagement level with your audience. Sitting up nice and straight conveys so many visual cues about you – your interest level, engagement, alertness, and confidence! Meanwhile on the other hand, poor posture signals disinterest, fatigue, or lower self-esteem – definitely not a good look for your important meetings.
- Turn off notifications across your devices! The ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature is available on our cell phones, tablets, desktops, and laptops for a reason. Be courteous to your colleagues/audience and keep those devices silent.
- Elevate your laptop or computer screen so that the video camera is at eye-level. This comes across more professional because it simulates a more natural face-to-face interaction as opposed to looking downward on your tilted computer screen (or conversely, having your audience looking into your nose!).
- BONUS TIP! Okay, I totally forgot to include this tip in the video so if you’re reading this post, you’re getting a bit of extra credit! Make sure that whatever device you’re using for video conferencing has ample power. If you’ve gone through all this effort to be prepared and look fantastic on video, then don’t lose it all by going dark from a dead battery. It’s not a good look – figuratively and literally!
And here are my “don’ts” that you should keep in mind to ensure you’re flexing your style during video conferencing!
- This should go without saying but, ladies, PLEASE be mindful of the tops you choose to wear. Do not wear plunging necklines or tops/blouses that are too revealing. They can certainly give off the wrong impression while attracting the wrong type of attention to yourself!
- Avoid patterns that are TOO busy and distracting. I know, I know – I mentioned up above that you should experiment with new styles, bold colors, etc., but be wary of patterns that visually overwhelm or envelop you. This can be quite distracting and may actually show up distorted on camera especially as you move. As an example, check out more info about the moiré effect which can happen in both videos and pictures.
- Do not wear loud, clanky jewelry. While I mentioned wearing statement jewelry as a definite “DO” up above, keep in mind that it should not be noisy. This is particularly applicable if you wear AirPods or headsets that rest around your neck for your conference audio. The proximity of those devices to earrings and necklaces are very close so even the simplest shift of year head or body may result in rustling background noise if you’re unmuted. So PLEASE be cognizant of that when you’re making your jewelry choices.
- Don’t forget about your bottom half! While most business video conferencing is set up for the camera to be on top half of your body (mainly your shoulders and head) and your clothing choices are centered on that area of the body, don’t forget about what you’re wearing down below. Now chances are that you’ll probably remain stationary for your meeting, but should you need to step away for a bio break or have to perform a demonstration everyone will see what you’re wearing down under. So just be aware of your potential or planned activities, motions, etc. so that you don’t end up being embarrassed from a ‘Business on the Top’ and ‘Party on the Bottom’ moment. 🤦🏾♀️
- Don’t forget about your background. Disheveled spaces and poor lighting can give a not-so-great impression. Keep your background area neat and organized and sit with light facing you, if possible, to minimize unflattering shadows, etc. I’ve seen people use a white sheet as a backdrop or a foldable partition that’s set up right behind you. Some conference systems like Zoom also feature virtual background tools that allow you to upload your own background pic without the need of a green screen.
- Don’t be distracted – stop looking at your phone, gazing at other window tabs, or looking elsewhere. Let others around you know that you’re in an important meeting and shouldn’t be disturbed. All of these factors allow you to Show Up, Be Present and Engaged, and Be Considerate of your colleagues and audience.
So those are my top tips on how you can rock your video conference in style! And remember this, when all is said and done, I want you to be yourself – but I want you to be the BEST version of yourself. Your looks, personal image, and brand are riding on this now more than ever – remember this!
✨✨So, how do YOU show up in style for your video conferences? Please share your tips and comments below!✨✨
Yours in Style,
Roxanne Carne is a recognized Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper styling women in Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW), TX and virtually! Visit www.roxannecarne.com to discover how she can help transform your wardrobe and transform your life!
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