How many Zoom meetings do you have per week?
If your answer is more than 5, it's time to invest more seriously in how you and the background behind you show up.
Whether we like to admit it or not, how we appear in our meetings increases or detracts from our perceived level of professionalism and the personal brand we hope to portray.
Before & after
Here is what my Zoom meetings looked like before and after the three enhancements I implemented
Improve your picture
To improve the way you appear on your camera, I suggest the following items, which I consider non-negotiables.
A light (most important) and an improved camera (I always use one, but it's not mandatory). Both are cheap, easy to set up, and make a world of difference.
I've tested out several, and these were my favorites
Ring light, $35
Webcam with privacy cover (that I clip on top of my laptop), $30
Zoom background options (discussed in detail below)
Improve your backgrounds
The third and final thing I updated was to set up a professional and beautiful virtual background.
There are a lot of options for virtual backgrounds these days.
I'd stay away from the slew of beach, space, and fantastical backgrounds that made the rounds when Zoom was just becoming popular. Nothing silly, funny, or kitschy.
I did a lot of research in stock photography to choose my own background and decided to make a FREE downloadable guide, where I share links to the 10 favorite ones that I found.
Below are examples of office like environments I included.
If you're interested in downloading one of these, get my Zoom Virtual Backgrounds Guide for free to get the links to these images directly from their stock sites.
How to changes your virtual background
To change your Zoom virtual background:
Start a new meeting or join an existing one
Click the arrow next to "Start Video"
Click the "+" on the top right by the default Virtual Backgrounds to add your own background files.
Once you've added your own preferred backgrounds, they'll be saved to your account for the long-term, so you can toggle between them.