When it comes to online meetings, having a great background is vital. You want to ensure your virtual meetings are as professional as your in-person meetings. After all, you want your colleagues and clients to focus on what you’re saying – not what’s going on behind you. But with so many people now working from home, finding a suitable background can be tricky.
If you don’t have a dedicated home office, you might have to get creative. Here are a few tips to help you find or create the perfect background for your next online meeting:
1. Have a simple, clean background
When participating in an online meeting, it’s important to have a simple, uncluttered background. A busy or distracting background can make it difficult for others to focus on your words.
Decluttering the items behind you is easy enough, but what if your wall paint or wallpaper has a messy and unprofessional design and you don’t have a whole day to repaint? Consider buying peel-and-stick wallpapers online. These wall coverings are popular for setting up a home office or small business space. They come in various colors and patterns, so you can find one that suits your style. And they’re easy to apply – just peel off the backing and stick it to the wall. No need for messy glue or nails.
Most peel-and-stick wall coverings are also removable, so you can take them down when you’re done with your calls or need to make a change. And they won’t damage your walls, so there’s no need to worry about repairs later.
2. Make sure the lighting is just right
You don’t want harsh light coming in from behind you or casting shadows on your face. The best lighting is soft and diffused, so adjust your lamps accordingly.
Good lighting is important for any video call, but it’s especially important on Zoom. Because the app uses facial recognition to help keep participants in frame, bad lighting can cause problems with the software. If your face is too dark, Zoom will have a harder time keeping you in the frame, and you may appear as a blurry blob on other people’s screens. Likewise, if your face is too bright, you’ll be washed out and hard to see.
The best lighting for Zoom (or any other video chat app) is indirect natural light. If possible, sit near a window so that the light illuminates your face from the side. You can also supplement with a desk lamp placed on the opposite side of the window to avoid creating any harsh shadows. You’ll ensure that you’re always seen at your best in online meetings with good lighting.
3. Be in a quiet room
A background isn’t just visual. It’s also auditory. It can be challenging to stay focused during online meetings, especially if you’re trying to do so in a noisy or busy environment. Noise will distract both you and your colleagues at the conference. That’s why it’s essential to find a quiet room where you can close the door and minimize distractions.
You can also try noise-proofing a room in your house by adding insulation to the walls, ceiling, and floor. Adding insulation will help to block out external noise and minimize sound travel between rooms. In addition, you can install weatherstripping around doors and windows to further reduce sound infiltration. For maximum noise reduction, you may also want to add a layer of drywall or mass-loaded vinyl over the existing wall surface. These materials are effective at absorbing sound and can also help improve a room’s overall acoustics.
When you have a dedicated space for virtual meetings, you’ll be able to pay attention more easily and participate more fully in the discussion. In addition, your colleagues will appreciate hearing you clearly and won’t have to strain to catch every word. So if you want to make the most of your next online meeting, find or create a quiet space where you can focus and be heard.
4. Step back from the camera
You don’t want to be too close to the screen and appear enlarged or too far away and appear tiny. Find the sweet spot and stick with it for an optimal zoom experience. The ideal distance between you and the camera will vary depending on the camera you’re using.
As a general rule of thumb, you should try to sit about three to six feet away from your webcam. This will help to ensure that your face is clearly visible on the screen while giving you enough room to gesture naturally.
Additionally, if you’re using a laptop or tablet camera, position the device, so it’s at eye level. This will help avoid awkward angles that can make it difficult for viewers to understand what you’re saying.
During online business meetings, it’s important to put your best foot forward. That means having a simple, clean background and making sure the lighting is just right. You should also be in a quiet room so that any noise from your surroundings doesn’t interfere with the call. Finally, make sure you step back from the camera so that your entire body is visible.
By following these simple tips, you can create a professional appearance for all of your online meetings.