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With so many people now working from home, many of them permanently, Zoom meetings are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
While “above keyboard dressing” has been popular during the pandemic, it’s a proven fact that you’ll feel more confident if you’re dressed to impress.
Start by asking yourself two questions:
1. Who are you presenting to?
For example: Are you speaking to a group of high school students, or an audience of high-powered executives?
2. What are you going to be speaking about?
For instance, are you giving a formal sales presentation or an informal talk?
This will help you decide if you want to convey authority and seriousness with your outfit or if a more laid-back look would be appropriate.
When your audience can only see you from the chest up, you want to pay close attention to what you’re wearing on top.
Think of a collared button down shirt as the older, more responsible sibling of a t-shirt; a collared shirt looks more grown-up, professional, and put together.
It’s also flexible and versatile: Need to be more formal? Layer a blazer over it.
When your audience’s view of you is limited, pay close attention to what they are going to see — and this includes accessories.
For men, this might mean a stylish pair of eyeglasses.
For women, I recommend playing with lip color, earrings, or nail polish (for all those hand gestures).
Think of your Zoom background as the must-have accessory of 2021. It should reflect who you are and support your message — and yes, people are judging you on it.
Use your background as an opportunity to communicate who you are.
Some things to consider placing in your background are your favorite books, travel mementos, potted plants or a vase of flowers, and/or framed photos.
And don’t forget to invest in good lighting, such as a ring light — lighting really is everything!
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