Hybrid or remote work is now an established reality for many, if not most, organizations. And for new professionals, working, meeting, and presenting online is not a new skill, since so much of life, from school to internships to personal gatherings, happened through screens during the pandemic.
But making a strong professional impression in a virtual environment may be a bit intimidating. How much time and energy do you need to put into what you visually present over a screen? Here’s our advice, which comes from one of The Latimer Group’s key principles: be authentic, but also be appropriate for the situation.
What does that mean? That means, whether you are wondering what to wear, what’s in your background, or how to angle your camera, think first: Who is your audience?
Consider how this audience will themselves be dressed, and what they might consider “business attire.” Take into account whether this is a small weekly team meeting, or a more formal presentation to a larger group or an executive audience.
Next, reduce distractions. Turn on your camera and check out what your audience will see: does the pattern on your shirt draw the eye away from you? Do you have anything inappropriate in the background? Don’t disguise your personality, but don’t hijack attention from what you’ll be discussing, either.
Finally, think about where your camera is aimed. Try to set it as close to eye-level as possible, to enhance your ability to make eye contact and create a sense of connection. And put your light in front of you, so that you can be clearly seen without casting a shadow on your face.
These small tricks can help broadcast that you are organized, thoughtful, and bringing your best performance whether in the office or outside of it.