Do you want to look better the next time you join a Zoom virtual meeting? Do you want to make a great impression when you attend an online interview?
Businesses are adapting to the new normal presented by the coronavirus crisis. Technology plays a significant role in helping us continue communications during these times. Zoom is one of the top conference platforms, with its users reaching up to 300 million participants per day.
One of the reasons why Zoom is so popular is that it offers a variety of virtual meeting backgrounds. In this guide, we’ll focus on tips for troubleshooting your virtual backgrounds.
Table of Contents
- Keep reading to find out about how you can ease your virtual conference experience
- Find the Perfect Background for You
Keep reading to find out about how you can ease your virtual conference experience
1. Keep Your Actual Backgrounds Clean and Contrasting
Before you go online, you must first look behind you. A large clean room may meet your gaze. Depending on where you’re sitting, you may only see your wallpaper staring back at you.
Now, look back at your computer and open the webcam app. How does the background look when you look at it from your webcam’s perspective? Does your background feel too cluttered or too busy?
Clean backgrounds make it easier for conference apps to find and isolate you. You also want to make sure that it contrasts with your form. For example, if you’re wearing dark clothes, your background needs to be light-colored.
It’s easy to think that messy backgrounds won’t affect virtual meeting backgrounds. Platforms like Zoom can still get confused about what is foreground and background. It can result in videos that are low-quality and/or blurry.
2. Test Various Virtual Meeting Backgrounds
Most virtual meeting platforms may overwhelm you with the various backgrounds they offer. It can be fun to look through the backgrounds or choose your custom meeting backgrounds. However, you have to test the backgrounds before you use them for official business.
This way, you know if you look good against your background image. Test in both full-screen and small window viewing. This also lets you check if certain elements in the room behind you are popping out and taking the limelight.
Plain and neutral backgrounds are the most popular picks, especially for formal meetings. When you pick a background, you’re setting a tone for your audience. Decide if you want to come across as serious, playful, silly, or professional.
You don’t want backgrounds that feel too noisy, crowded, or busy. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting drowned out by it. If you prefer these backgrounds, try to blur the image so you stand out from it.
3. Use a Room With Good Lighting
It’s not enough to pick a great background. Remember, the background isn’t the subject of the video, you are. Thus, you want to be visible and well-lit.
Before you even decide on a Zoom virtual background, you first need to fix your lighting conditions. How well-lit is your remote office? Are you sitting in a room with natural light or do you use artificial lights only?
Pick an area in your home or remote office that offers uniform lighting. That means light is hitting all parts of your face rather than only one side. If you’re using a lamp to light up your face, keep the light’s intensity soft.
The time of day also affects your lighting conditions. If the meeting is during the daytime, it’ll be easier to find good lighting. Yet, daylight offers less stability when the weather switches from sunny to cloudy.
4. Learn How You Look on Camera
This is always a smart step to take before you join any virtual meeting. Open your webcam app and record yourself in front of it for a few minutes. Watch the recording and you’ll see how you come across to your audience.
Again, use contrast to your advantage. Pick clothes that stand out from the background. If you have black hair, sit against a lighter background so it doesn’t get erased. If you want to keep the back of your chair out of the picture, cover it with a towel that contrasts the color of your shirt.
If you’re using a green screen, avoid wearing anything green. Checking how you look on camera also lets you know if the makeup you put on is visible or not. It also helps to move around so you know what movements or angles change the surrounding cutout.
Don’t forget to dress the part for video meetings!
5. Pick Background Colors That Compliment You
When you pick a background for meetings online, you want to make sure it suits you. This is yet another tip that’ll tell you to experiment before you go online. Also, remember that the lighting and what you’re wearing may affect your camera adjustments.
Neutral colors are great background color picks. However, if its hue is too close to your skin color, it can make you look washed out. Instead, pick virtual meeting backgrounds that have a lighter or darker shade.
Your hair color may also affect the best background color. If you have dark hair, you may notice that the cutouts on the edges have light lines. Pick light-colored backgrounds instead.
Pick the opposite if you have lighter hair color.
6. Learn How to “Look at” Your Colleagues During Virtual Meetings
Are you preparing for an online interview and you want to make the best first impression? Do you want to appear like you’re looking at the person you’re talking to? There are a few tricks to make this happen.
If you want to give the illusion that you’re looking right at your audience, look at your camera. However, this takes away your chance to see their reactions. It’s a good thing virtual meetings have yet to gain real-time interactions.
You can also place their video window closer to your camera. That way, you’re still looking at the general direction of the camera. Another trick is to place the camera at eye level.
Find the Perfect Background for You
Now you know how to better manage your video conference backgrounds to suit you. Online video meetings may stick around even after the COVID-19 crisis passes. We hope you picked up something helpful in this short guide.
That’s it for our top troubleshooting tips for picking virtual meeting backgrounds. Don’t hesitate to go back to this list while setting yours up!
Did you enjoy reading this guide on video conferencing? If you want to see more tips like this, check out our other content right here, today!