Setting Up And Lighting A Zoom-Friendly Stage
Many people will not be returning to the office full time or at all in a post-pandemic world, which means that video conferencing and virtual meetings are going to become the norm. It also means having to get dressed, at least from the waist up, and professionally presenting yourself, including your workspace and background.
Whether it’s an interview, team meeting, or a weekly virtual lunch with colleagues, you’ll need to clear away the dirty mugs, takeaway cartons, and put together a WFH nook or space to appear poised for success, even if the rest of your home (hopefully not) is a mess.
Here, tips on setting a chic stage for your video meetings.
Reflect your personal brand
The background is the most important aspect of a successful Zoom meeting.
Try placing your desk in front of a bookshelf or a wall displaying art. The shelves should look neat and organised, preferably by colour for maximum impact. The art should be elegant and not too whimsical, or the audience will focus on the art rather than on the meeting.
If you are unable to get a desk in such a place, then consider creating a corner of your home purely for video calls. Place an armchair with a throw in the corner, add a standing lamp, and some books on a side table. A plant would ideal to add some warmth. However, remember to keep everything simple, with few distractions.
Get the light right
You should aim for a combination of natural and artificial lighting, but depending on the bulbs you use, you may need to experiment with positioning to find the right balance of colour. If a light is too warm, it could make you appear yellow on-screen. Too cold and white, it will make you look greyish.
Position the lighting or yourself so you are lit from the front, maybe slightly off to the side and above, or straight on otherwise. Strong lights from behind will make you appear in silhouette like you’re in witness protection, and lighting from below may highlight lines and wrinkles.
Depending on what you have decided for on your background, if you have a lot of space behind you, then a lamp at the back of the room that is not too bright can add some depth and interest to your video calls.
The portion of your computer/camera also needs to be considered. It should be at a good height for capturing you, not cutting off your head at the top or bottom, and if you ensure that your shoulders are in shot, and there is space all around your head, then you’re at a good distance from the camera.
Add a personal touch
As mentioned, it is best to keep it simple, but you do not want to appear bland and uninteresting either. Try placing one or two personal touches, whether that’s photos, art, books you love (you do not want anyone asking about a prominently placed book that you’ve actually never read!), or even instruments you play.
While there are dedicated lighting systems, such as ring lights, that are for people who spend a lot of time using video conferencing software, your home office also has to be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing to you too.
Why not take a look at our desk task lamps and classic table lamps to enhance your video calls at home.