How to Give a Professional Experience While Working From Home
We are all facing new ways of doing business through teleconferences and video conferencing. Here are a few tips that will help you look and sound professional when talking to your clients, customers and colleagues. Whether you use Zoom, Google Meet/Hangouts or another program, these all apply.
I can’t imagine that anyone expects you to wear a suit at home while attending a video conference, but you should look professional and presentable. You want your customers and colleagues to have confidence in your ability to get the job done under these less than ideal conditions.
I think it goes without saying that the image at the top is a good example of what not to do. Don’t slouch in bed with messy hair and a dog in your lap. Use common sense. Ok, I think that about covers appearance.
- What’s Behind You?
Turn around and look behind you before you turn on your video camera on your laptop. What will everyone else be looking at while you’re staring at your screen? Make sure there isn’t any dirty laundry or piles of junk…or worse yet, the private information of your customers! You want a clean, professional impression of your work space.
- Don’t sit with a window behind you
You will be a shadowed blob and we will all be blinded by the glare coming from behind you. Sit with a window in front of you so that your face is lit up nicely. If you don’t have a window to sit in front of, then make sure you have some kind of lighting on your face and not coming from behind. You can get an inexpensive LED light that has nice white coloring (not a yellow light).
- Use a microphone or earbuds
It is a good idea to use some sort of head-set to eliminate feedback, background noise and echos. I have a cheap set of earbuds that has a built-in microphone that works great. If you want something a little more fancy, then you can buy a stand alone microphone, just try not to use the built-in microphone and speakers on your computer.
- Mute your microphone
When someone else is presenting, it’s good etiquette to mute your microphone. That way, every time you clear your throat, or your chair squeaks, you won’t pop up as the main speaker on the screen and distract everyone.
- Cover your video camera
I use a little sticky slider that adheres over your camera and slides back and forth to cover it. If you don’t have one, a piece of electrical tape works well. Just make sure it stays covered when you’re not using it.
- Zoom Privacy Issues
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Zoom’s privacy issues lately. We are Google folks, and highly recommend Google Hangouts (meet.google.com) for video conferencing. But if you have to use Zoom, this WordFence blog has a lot of good tips and information.
We hope these tips will help you to maintain a professional impression while working from home. Working from home doesn’t mean that we all can’t continue to give our customers the best possible experience. Now is the time to shine and show your clientele why they chose you to do business with. Good luck, and happy conferencing!