Whether you are using Zoom / Teams or other video conferencing mediums occasionally or regularly it is important to consider how you are coming across to others.  

Looking your best will impact your:

  • Communication
  • Effectiveness
  • Image – how do we want to come across?

We are going to look at how the following aspects affect how you appear while using Zoom / video conferencing. 

  1. The Basics
  2. Lighting
  3. Your Web Cam & Video Conferencing Settings


1. The Basics

When you go out to work or meet friends, you make sure you've had a wash, brushed your teeth and combed your hair and generally look acceptable – the basics right?   The exact same principle applies with virtually going to work or meeting friends.  

Don’t let the fact you are communicating through video conferencing software discourage you from looking your best. After all communicating through video conferencing means that certain areas of communication related to touch and body language are reduced, so it vital that we concentrate on looking and sounding our best.  When we do we will feel energized and more confident which will in turn encourage and energize our audience.  


2. Lighting

Lighting is fundamental to looking good on camera.  This is clearly seen when looking at photographs.  You look at one photo of yourself and think 'Yay I look great!', then you look at another and think you look awful…. why the disparity?  Well it is probably down to lighting.

So you know light is important, so does that mean you can sit with the window behind you?  After all there is tonnes of light streaming in.  NO!  This is a classic mistake.  Only sit with your back to bright light if you want to look like a silhouette.  Your audience will not be able to make out your facial expressions, so smiles and frowns will be completely invisible. 

What’s the solution?  Simply turn around.  Instead of the light coming from behind you, ensure the light is in front of you. It will literally light up your face.

What if you have no choice but to sit with your back to the sun. Well artificial light is the answer.  Experiment with lamp positions in front of you. Light always needs to be in front of you.  Experimentation is the key here.  


3. Your Webcam & Video Conferencing Settings

If you’ve been using Zoom / Teams for a while now you’ll have noticed that people position there webcams anywhere from right down on the floor to the highest shelf in the house.  However the best place for your webcam is eye level.  This may mean propping up your laptop or phone on a few books to achieve the desired height, but it will be well worth it. 

Where should you look?

This can be hard but if you want to achieve eye contact with your audience the best place to look is directly at the camera lens.  It’s like looking into the eyes of the other people at the meeting.  Your screen itself is not a camera, so looking into the camera is the only way to achieve eye contact.  It's probably not possible to keep this up for the whole meeting, but if you really have an important point to emphasize looking into the camera lens will be most effective. 

Do I already have a Webcam?

There are a huge choice of webcams available to buy.  But before you buy one, did you know that your laptop probably already has one built in? To check if you have one, try searching 'webcam' in the Windows search bar. Also, did you know you can use your mobile phone as a webcam? 

If you want to experiment with using your mobile phone as a webcam, you can download software such as DroidCam (as the name suggests for android phone only) and connect up. For more information on how to turn your mobile phone into a Webcam check our our latest video: 'How to look your best on Zoom'

Webcam Settings

Depending on the quality of the webcam installed on your laptop, you may want to purchase a third party one.  Once purchased a webcam will come with its own video enhancing features.  Take time to look at the options available.  For instance many webcams have inbuilt image settings which will allow you to:

  • Adjust the brightness

  • Change the tones i.e warm and nostalgic

  • Use a choice of filters – including some very funny ones!

Adjusting these settings can have a great effect on how you look using Zoom / Teams or any other video conferencing software. Our latest video 'How to look your best on Zoom' includes tips on how to adjust your webcam settings. 

 Adjusting your Appearance in Zoom

As well as experimenting with your webcam settings, you can also adjust your video conferencing settings.  For instance in Zoom video settings there is a ‘Touch up my Appearance’ check box as well as ‘Enable HD’ option.  You can experiment with these settings.

It is also best practice to check your appearance in Zoom before joining the meeting. It is like taking that one last look in the mirror before entering the business meeting to make sure you haven’t got spinach stuck in your teeth.  Once you have joined a meeting without video, you can simply click on the little arrow next to the video icon, and check your appearance before turning your video on.


Maximize your time and effectiveness on Zoom or other video conferencing software by being clearly seen and looking your best!