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How to look your best on Zoom?

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Do you look your best on Zoom?

OK - So what does looking your best on Zoom mean?

Imagine that you have the most important meeting of your life. You want to know how to look your best on Zoom? Here's an example of when you would want to look your best. You would dress smart. You know, shirt and tie.

Maybe you just need to attend an informal work meeting or even a family chat. Ensuring that you look good on Zoom will help make you feel more comfortable. This tutorial video is designed to help you look your very best on Zoom. You will learn how to make the best use of your camera including lighting, sitting position and how the type of camera, coupled with the software that comes with your camera can help you to look your very best on Zoom.

If you don’t happen to have a WebCam or the camera that comes with your laptop is terrible, like mine. This tutorial will also show you how to use your phone as a WebCam.

Knowing that you've made an effor is so important to your own self confidence. I mean who would go out half dressed. I will admit that I sometimes put some fragrance on to give me that extra boost. But whatever you need to do, if you know that you've made an effort to look your best, it will come across when on Zoom.

Look Smart

Get Dressed

Looking your best means dressing for the occasion. You wouldn't dream of actually going to work in your pyjamas would you? However, you'll be surprised at how many people I meet who have their webcam's turned off, and for what reason? Nothing more that the fact that they have yet to get dressed. This is crazy. I mean imagine you're sitting down in the boardroom waiting for the next meeting and your boss walks in in a pair of stripy silk pyjamas, maybe even more unseemly. Do you think that you could take her seriously? So what to do? Put on some clothes suitable for the occasion, then you can relax, confident that no one is going to catch a sneaky quick screenshot of you in your night time attire.

I don't use my webcam because...

Hang-on, I think you're connected, you tell your never use her webcam workmate. Her excuse? The internet connection is rubbish. However, after chatting about the show she binge watched on Netflix over the weekend, you might doubt her reason for not switching her webcam on.

Probably the worst Zoom position... In the world

If you had a competition in your office on who has the worst Zoom position, who do you think would win?

  • The back to the window guy
  • Count nostril hair special
  • Cheapest webcam in the world

Maybe you've got your own entries. The fact is that postion can be everything when it comes to looking good. So try the following to help you get that professional Zoom look:

  1. Sit facing the window or with the strongest light source directly in front of you. (Alright I know! Face the window during the day).
  2. Raise the camera on the laptop to eye level. Use books, files or anything to hand. Make sure the laptop. Doesn't really matter if it looks messy, people won't see what's behind or near to your camera. Just make sure nothing is blocking the camera lens.
  3. Look into the camera, when speaking try to avoid looking at the faces on the screen. Difficult to do I know, but if you want to connect to your audience make sure you look into the camera.
  4. Place your webcam and the Zoom application on the same screen

How to use your phone as a WebCam?

To be able to use your phone as a WebCam you will first need to download DroidCam software on your phone and on your computer. As the name suggests DroidCam works with Android and although I believe there is an iPhone version out there this tutorial will only show you how to set your phone as a WebCam using Android phones.

Download DroidCam for Windows

Once you have downloaded the software open the software app on your computer. Now it's time to get DroidCam on your Android phone.

Before you download the software on your phone, please first ensure you enable to USB debugging.

The above video tutorial will guide you step by step in doing this. However, should you just want to get stuck in the following is a quick guide:

  1. Go to Settings by swiping down from the top of your screen and clicking on the cog in the top right corner.
  2. Scroll down and click on Software version
  3. Tap the build multiple times until you have activated developer mode.
  4. Click the arrow in the top left corner of the screen twice and then navigate down to develop the mode and click on developer mode.
  5. Scroll down until you find USB debugging and then turn it on.

Now that you have enabled USB debugging on your phone you can download the DroidCam app from Google play store.

Once you have installed the app back on your computer click on the USB button and then on the refresh button; your phone should now be visible in the drop-down list.

Look your best on Zoom by using your phone as a WebCam

Choose whether you want to use your mobile phone for video and audio or just for video and then click on start.

Now you can use your phone as a WebCam. As a suggestion it might be prudent to invest in a small tripod to be able to support your phone otherwise your find your arm will hurt because of holding up your phone up so long.

Another important tip when conducting or even speaking in a Zoom meeting is to look into the camera. This can be easier said than done because our eyes are naturally drawn to movement. We are tempted to look at the other participants on the screen, however, please try not to do this. Within the above tutorial video you will see an example of why looking into the camera is far superior when you are delivering a talk, lecture or presentation.

Adjusting WebCam Image Settings

Within the software that comes with your camera or settings that you can adjust to help you look your best on Zoom. Ensure that you install all of the software that accompanies your WebCam then you can use these settings to adjust your colour brightness and if you are using the Logitech camera that I am, you can have a little bit of fun. Watch the tutorial video if you want to know what I'm talking about.

For general video conferencing we at Computer Tutroing prefer to use the Zoom platform over others. Although, we have used Microsoft Teams and WebEx and are happy to use those when conducting training with other companies who preferred these platforms.

Lighting

When it comes to position for your meeting, it is important that the strongest light source is in front of you. The above tutorial gives a demonstration of what might happen should you sit with your back to the window. Due to the strongest light source being behind you it makes it difficult for your Zoom participants to see your face.

If it is not possible for you to sit facing a window, then try to counteract the effects by placing a light source in front of you along with closing your blinds to try and reduce any light coming in through the windodws.

Camera Position

It’s important that you raise your WebCam to eyelevel, this way your participants will not be looking at your 50 million double chins. If your camera is too high they may be looking down at your receding hairline. By placing the WebCam at eyelevel you can make better eye contact with your participants. It will also look more natural. So try to get some boxes or books or magazines or whatever so that you can looking sort of natural.

What’s Next?

The next tutorial in this series of three tutorials on looking your best on Zoom will be dealing with sound. In other words, how do you make yourself sound better in Zoom?

How to look your best on Zoom with a better WiFi Symbol

Then the third and final video tutorial in this series will be dealing with Wi-Fi. In other words, how do you make your Wi-Fi is strong and smooth and fast as possible?

Conclusion

If fact wanting to know how to look your best on Zoom is the first step to looking your best. The fact that you want to make some effort to look good in front of the webcam is a start. You know some people don't make any effort whatsoever. They are perfectly fine unshaven, messy hair in a pink onesie. They sit with the sun streaming in behind them on their laptop camera making it anyones guess as to who's speaking. If that's for you, then what are you doing here?

However, should you want to give more to your friends, workmates and family. The above tips will help you look a good deal better.

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