Updated: Sep 28, 2020
Undoubtedly, you have been sharpening your video conference samurai skills over the last few months, but even the Bruce Lee of Zoom has experienced his fair share of misses. From awkward intros to uncontrollable urges, here are some less-than-obvious mistakes to avoid:
1 - Don't mention what the camera can't see (especially what you're wearing)
Whether its pets, kids or pants, you don't really need to mention what the camera cannot see. Now, if your husband visibly walks through the screen in his new normal business attire (boxers and a t-shirt), that may be something worth laughing about. But there's really no need to derail a productive meeting with anecdotes about your current surroundings. It's ok, we all get it, life's messy right now--no need to explain yourself. Literally everyone is going through something, so if you want to wear sweatpants or no pants, I doubt anyone is really going to judge you.
2 - Don't forget to cover your camera lens and mute your line if you're not actively participating in video mode
You're on a team call with your manager and didn't have time to change out of your pajamas beforehand (let alone brush your hair). But luckily your manager is cool with not having the video feature on. However, when you go to "unmute" your mic during the call, you accidentally turn on the video and everyone gets a glimpse (or more) of your disheveled and disorganized self. While certainly not the end of the world, it's such an easy fix--just place a piece of the sticky part of a Post-It note over the lens when you're not anticipating using the video feature.
Along those same lines, always mute your line when you're not talking. While most presenters say that they "want to have a dialogue" and "want this to be a discussion," the last thing they want is to hear your dogs unexpectedly barking or doorbell ringing. So, keep the mic on mute and your lens covered if you don't plan to participate much during a call.
3 - When video mode is on, don't be a shadowy creature--be seen!
If you're using video for an online meeting, make sure your camera lens is at eye-level, so you can look directly at the camera when speaking. Also, to avoid that creepy dark shadow appearance, try facing a window, going outside (if it's not too loud) or using a video light.
HomployeeHub's "Be Seen" Bundle can help you be seen with a video light, touch table lamp and a laptop stand that gets your screen to perfect eye-level, and blue light blocking glasses so your eyes stay strain-free all day long. Check out HomployeeHub's bundles here.