Zoom, Facetime, Webex, Facebook live - more and more we are using these resources to meet with our audience, join meetings and deliver live and pre-recorded tutorials. It's all very convenient until you see yourself in the window and wonder if you really look like that!! Looking great is important for your brand image as well as your confidence. Here are our top tips for looking your best!
What to wear
So this bit may give you permission to do a little shopping (you're welcome) because what you wear is important. As you would with any face to face meeting do your hair and put on your makeup, just because you're at home doesn't mean you shouldn't make an effort. We're all guilty of wearing jogging bottoms, PJ bottoms and rabbit slippers - to be honest, if you don't see it on the video then I'm all for it and guilty as charged (sorry not sorry)! Here are a few helpful rules for the clothes you can see:
Carolyn's brand colours are fire colours, so the reds and oranges in her outfit and background here are perfect!
'It's behind you'! Keep your background simple and uncluttered - if your viewers are nosey like me, they'll be distracted by what's in the background. This can tell you a lot about a person so consider your background carefully. A messy room, a pile of washing up - all very distracting to the viewer and gives the impression the person running the video is very disorganised as well as diluting the message you are trying to delivery. This is also an opportunity to create a background to represent you and your brand. Keep it simple with a plain wall with strategically placed products, appropriate quotes on the wall and objects in your brand colours. These all go towards strengthening your brand identity.
You've put the hard work in, got the outfit, decluttered the background but the wrong lighting can spoil it all.
To look your best you want to be lit from the front with soft lighting. Your easiest and cheapest option is natural light which looks great when you get it right.
When using natural light from a window, for example, make sure the light is in front of you so there is plenty of light on your face. Having a window behind you is likely to make you very dark and even silhouetted. If you have bright sunlight streaming through you’ll need to defuse the light with some soft while cloth.
Basic Mobile Lighting
You may have already seen these mobile ring lights. They are popular with those who like a nicely lite selfie, but also a quick and easy option for lighting a live session on your mobile phone or laptop. With different brightness settings, these give a really even light and it just clips on your phone. You can take it with you, so is perfect if you want a quick and portable set up.
Beauty Ring Light
They are called beauty lights for a reason, they create a beautiful light that will help you look your best. Although they are portable they are quite big so great if you often create video or conduct 'lives' from the same spot. You have the option to place your phone in the middle of the ring or, if using a laptop, place the light just above your laptop in the centre. They come in various sizes so make sure you get one that works with your device as you can see here with the Spectrum Aurora.
So now you and your background are looking good - let's make sure your camera captures all your gorgeousness.
Save it for the selfies - the trend when taking selfie's is to take a photo from above. With a video, a camera that is too high will just distort your face and similarly, a camera that is too low will only highlight your nostrils and double chin - no thank you to that! Make sure your camera is at eye level for the most flattering angle. If the camera on your laptop or pc isn't high enough consider a raising it up with a pile of books or grab an adjustable laptop stand (also great if you suffer from neck pain being hunched over a laptop).
That's close enough - we're not talking about social distancing here we're talking about being too close to your camera. Laptop and phone cameras are wide-angle which means if you get too close your features are distorted. Have a look at yourself on the video before you go live - would you look better if you took a step back?
It goes without saying that you should remove any sound distractions from the room like children and pets if possible, and close the window so it's as quiet as it can be. Depending on your device you may need an additional accessory mic which will make you sound much better, especially if you are stood away from your device presenting or making something. We use a lapel mic think the one below when we need to.
Now you're good to go LIVE!!! If your confidence is making you hesitate, consider joining Carol Plant 'The speaking success coach' for one of her awesome programmes and find your speaking confidence.
I hope these Top Tips have helped you create video and run calls that represent you and your brand well.
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