Here are a few of my own suggestions that I hope will help you along your personal journey to skincare confidence.
Prepare in Advance
Most of us are now working from home or from remote locations either for work or for school. This article is meant for those of us who use our computer cameras everyday or weekly to connect with coworkers or with instructors for our education.
This article is not for those who casually want to connect with friends or family, where you can use your phone's camera and your appearance doesn't really matter when talking with friends.
It does matter what you look like for work as you want to make a professional appearance and impression on camera. If you take care of how you look, it reflects on your work performance and work product. You never know who is watching or who will see that video conference, meeting, or interview in the future. Even if the meetings are not recorded, you never know who may be watching and that person may be your ticket to rising up the corporate ladder.
The same with school and any educational courses you are taking that requires you to appear on camera. You want a clean, professional appearance so the instructors will remember you and you may just snag that job or apprenticeship you've been dreaming of.
So, take a look in the mirror. Fix your hair and makeup, wear a blouse and jacket for a more professional appearance. If it's a casual meeting or instructional course, wear a polo shirt, sweater, or any casual cotton top that still makes a good appearance on camera. Nothing old, nothing with holes in it and nothing trendy such as ripped or torn fabric, and no heavy metal jewelry.
Lighting and Placement
Do not sit in front of a window using natural lighting, it will not be flattering to your face. Either the sun will be too bright and the glare will hurt your eyes or the sunlight will start to shift and cause shadows across your face.
Invest in two desk lamps at least 12 inches in height with full spectrum or halogen light bulbs. The lights should be placed on either sides of your desk or computer so the lighting is even across your face and upper body that will appear on camera.
You can place the lights directly behind your computer and slightly pointed downward towards the papers or books on your desk that you need to reference during the meeting or educational course. The lights should not be pointing directly into your eyes, but facing downward so it's indirect lighting. The effect will be very flattering to your face.
Experiment with your camera and lighting so you get used to how it will look in advance of being required to appear on camera for your meetings or interviews.
Adjust the quality of your camera lens using your computer's settings. Test out each setting until you arrive at the one that suits you the best. Take your time, check out positioning your computer screen at various angles for the most flattering effect for you personally.
If you have a stand alone camera and are not using the camera built into your computer, make sure it's not placed to high above your head. All your audience will see is the part in your hair and any gray hair you may have on the top of your head.
Ideally, your computer camera should be at eye level, not too high, not too low. Some people just place their computers on their desk and have to look down into the camera. This may be okay if you need to do a lot of typing, such as, during a school course you're taking. But for most professional meetings and interviews, you may want to elevate your computer to eye level using a computer stand, books, or a plastic shelf that is at about 8 to 12 inches high and place your computer on top of that. Then adjust your computer monitor forward or backward to achieve a flattering angle for your face.
Practice with your desk setup and you will be camera ready each time you need to appear in a meeting or interview. There is no need to constantly set it up each time, just leave it the way you've rehearsed it in advance and you will be camera ready in no time flat.
Prepare Your Workspace
Have a designated work space so it will be camera ready anytime of the day or night. Keep your desk space clean with only the necessary notepads, pens and pencils, and anything else you need to complete your work or take notes during a video meeting or instructional course.
Food at your desk or books that are piled up and messy or scattered papers should be avoided if you are on camera. Anything unnecessary should be moved onto another table away from the surface of your desk.
Have two lamps on each side of the desk to make sure you can easily see your papers or books that you will need to reference during the video conference and as stated above, you can place lamps behind the computer so your face is illuminated from the front with no shadows.
Clean your desk each time when your work day ends and empty trash bins so you are ready for the next day's work and won't feel stressed if you left a messy desk the night before.
Make sure your background is either a blank wall or a professional wall hanging behind you. Do not use the automated background images on your computer, it always looks ugly and will distort your image creating weird lines around your head and upper body.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more you appear on camera for meetings or for school, the more comfortable you will become. Everyone gets nervous and understanding that fact, will make you feel more relaxed. Practice in front of a mirror and read aloud text from a book to get used to seeing your own reflection.
Once you get used to seeing yourself on camera, then you can make adjustments later in the angle of the computer, the distance between your chair and your desk, and so forth. Just experiment with the whole process and have fun with it. Don't take yourself too seriously, yet pay attention to small details.
Sit up straight, glance at the participants without staring at them so they know you are interested in what they have to say. Take notes, interact, and participate in the meeting or classroom discussions and any nervousness you may feel will slowly dissipate. You will find that you enjoy presenting yourself on camera and it will serve you well in your future endeavors.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Nancy M