Here we are, at the beginning of another lockdown and following the orders of ‘stay at home’. For many people, this brings about a whole new level of anxiety. No, we are not talking about how to cope with homeschooling or fed up kids, or the fact you can’t escape for a glass of wine with your best friend.
No, we are talking about Zoom calls. Or Microsoft Teams, or whichever video conferencing software you are frantically trying to battle with and are dreading using.
Whether you have to use it for work purposes, social purposes or to facilitate your child’s homeschooling, very few of us feel truly confident on video. Throw in the fact that we may have eaten a fair few Quality Street over Christmas and still have not quite got back into the habit of brushing our hair, and well, seeing your face in front of you on a screen can be more than a little unnerving.
Here, we look at a few things that you can do to help you feel a little more confident when on camera, so that you can ‘enjoy’ all those Zoom calls.
Think about the background
What you have as your background depends on the purpose of your call or conference. If it’s a work call, then sitting with an untidy background or kids My Little Pony wallpaper behind you probably is not the look that you want to go for. If it’s a catch up with your child’s teacher, you probably want to skip the wall with that Quentin Tarentino quote on it. For informal chats with family and friends, it doesn’t matter quite so much. Zoom comes with some backgrounds that can hide your own, but choose one that isn’t going to be distracting.
Brush your hair and get dressed
We know how tempting it is to do neither of these things when stuck in the house, but not only will it make you feel more confident on camera, it will also make you feel more motivated. Even if you just shower, get changed into some leggings or sweatpants and a hoodie, it can make a difference to your mood. Treat yourself to some new makeup or skincare products from Colorscience – you deserve a bit of a treat!
Don’t eat or drink
Remember, the microphone picks up every sound, and no one else is going to want to hear you crunching on your crisps or slurping on your coffee. You can guarantee that something will go down ‘the wrong way’ and you will end up coughing and spluttering on camera, and that is not a look that is ever going to make you feel good about yourself! If you need a drink, mute your mic for a few seconds!
We are probably all going to be dealing with Zoom and Teams and Skype meetings and chats for the foreseeable future – and it is rapidly becoming something that is completely embedded in society. Knowing how to feel good on screen is something we all need to get used to – fast.