Video Tip | Best Practices For Filming Yourself Live or in Virtual Meetings
Now that our entire lives have gone virtual, it feels like there are two distinct types of video calls: the video presentation and the video party.
The video presentation is a scheduled, more professional meeting or marketing tool. The video party is a more informal gathering or chat with loved ones.
How you show up on camera to social gatherings on video is totally up to how you feel and what you plan to do or talk about. But how you show up on camera for a video presentation deserves closer consideration and more thoughtful preparation.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about how you can look more professional in Zoom meetings, or how you can be more polished on Facebook or Instagram Live videos. These fall under the category of video presentations, where we all want to share our best selves.
Today I’m breaking down some best practices for presenting yourself virtually – because when it comes to looking professional, a few small adjustments in framing, lighting, appearance and audio can go a long way!
It’s best to make sure you center yourself in the frame. A rule of thumb is to keep the distance from the top of your head to the top of your screen about 1-2 fingers apart. I also like to think about having half of my body showing – in my example images, you can see that the screen cuts off right above my chest. Doing this helps ensure I’m framed properly, and it also allows me to practice having better posture!
I believe in wearing headphones. Bluetooth headphones are ideal, so you have freedom to move around if necessary. Just make sure that you’re muted if you’re not speaking – headphones have the tendency to pick up noises around you!
Interested in knowing which DIY equipment we recommend? Grab our free filming from home PDF here!
Here’s a tip for you: sit or stand in a well-lit space and lift up your hand so that your palm is facing toward you. As you look into the palm of your hand, take note of where the light falls (you want your face to receive that light)!
An even simpler solution is to find a window and sit facing it. Never have your back to a window, otherwise you will be backlit and in silhouette!
Like I said before, you don’t need to worry over what you’re wearing and how “done up” you are for any video gatherings with loved ones. Be as polished or relaxed as you want! Be comfortable. Be yourself!
But if you’re meeting with a client, for example, you want to appear just as professional through your webcam as you would up-close in person.
If you would normally wear a little makeup to a meeting, do your makeup! If you would wear a nice top, wear a nice top! If you would style your hair, style your hair!
It sounds simple, because it is.
You don’t have to overthink or overdo your look for the camera at home. Do whatever you would do if you were meeting outside the home. Those small things you do to get ready will read on camera as “ready to present” or “ready to participate,” and they’ll make a difference to your viewer, even if it feels subtle to you at home.
That probably means: wear pants! 😂
My marketing manager Amy wants you to know that she doesn’t always wear makeup outside her home, so she doesn’t wear makeup on video meetings either. BUT she does always fill in her eyebrows. When her eyebrows are done, that’s when she feels polished and professional. It’s small but it makes her feel pulled together before video calls. I told you — it’s going to be something different for every one of us!!
Keep these tips in mind in the future when we are no longer social distancing.
Imagine how you can utilize these simple ways to present yourself in a better way in video interviews, introductions, social media content or video auditions!!
The current circumstances have really shifted the way I’ve been thinking, and there are days where I am feeling more creative than ever!!
Sign up if you want to brainstorm together, and please share the opportunity with anyone you think could benefit from some one-on-one time with me!
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Nel Shelby is Owner & Filmmaker for Nel Shelby Productions, her New York City-based company dedicated to dance videography and editing. Nel shares her mission to preserve and promote the art of dance with her husband, Christopher Duggan, a dance and wedding photographer. They collaborate on projects with dance companies of worldwide renown, up-and-coming choreographers, dance educators, dance schools and more. Nel is Video Producer at Jacob’s Pillow and Vail Dance Festival and is also the proud Director and Producer of PS DANCE! — a New York Emmy-nominated documentary about dance education in NYC’s public schools.