Suit Up for a New Day
We are all part of a global business makeover where video conferencing is now a central communication tool.
Conveying confident professionalism is the goal and comes with practice. The following are ten ways to enhance professional appearance during video conferencing
- Get Ready Mentally – doing the work to gain clarity is foundational for pursuing our best. Whether we like it or not, we are going on video. Rather than approaching it with dread, which shows on our face, learn how to be seen and heard confidently.
- Look Who Came to Work – appearance transitions are important as triggers. We change our clothes and appearance to signal our intentions externally and internally. Getting ready for work is a process that triggers readiness to engage, participate and collaborate.
- Posture Counts – sitting up shows interest as well as the intention to act. Bolt upright is too extreme, a soft back is too casual. Find a place where it’s comfortable but not pushing relaxed. Too easygoing combined with a mute button can become a showcase of unconscious behaviors.
- Look Pleasant – have a trigger picture that invokes a natural smile. Put it in a sightline to revive a grin if needed.
- Warm-Up – get ready to speak by warming up. Say a couple of sentences, sing a little tune or even a couple notes. Annunciate each word and slow down just enough to breathe.
- The Collar – excluding interviews, jackets are scarce on video. The next most professional apparel symbol, for men or women, is the collar. Whether on a shirt, blouse, top, or knit, its job is to frame the face and define the shoulder line.
- Visible Color – keep the background neutral, put the color upfront. Shirt colors that work well on camera alone or layering are soft white, light blue, light pink, light grey, light lavender, light lilac. Darker colors work well alone with good lighting. If they recede into the background, it can produce a floating head look. Be careful with patterns; they can jump or waver on camera.
Knits or fleece fabrics are good as an over layer, such as quarter neck zip pullovers or zip vests. A V-neck sweater, over an open-collar shirt, is good in middle colors. Those colors are bright navy, cornflower blue, cadet blue, medium grey, charcoal grey, soft red, corals, periwinkle, mahogany, dark camel. Avoid extremely warm colors, especially with inconsistent lighting and some greens; they don’t read well.
- Take a Look– turn on the camera and try on shirts, shirts in combination with a pullover or sweater, worktops, and T-shirts in color groups. Which ones look the best, feel the best and are in the best condition? From there, pick the winners and have a go-to, on-camera group. No need for several choices; three to four create variety and consistency. Appearance needs to stay in a supporting role to frame out talents.
- What is that Noise – wear accessories but make sure they stay quiet. No jiggling or clanking against something or on their own.
- Check Teeth – always!