The Five “Ps” of Looking Great on a Zoom Call

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Every day I look at the image my webcam captures on my Zoom calls and I think to myself, “How did I possibly get to look like this? Is this really me?”

Being quarantined with four kids under six years old, working life has become a daily fight for survival that culminates on Friday night with a nice glass of Zinfandel. But extreme parental stress is no excuse to look bad on a Zoom call! The other day I sat down and gave serious thought to how I could improve my appearance on Zoom.

Here they are – my five tips, all which begin with the letter “P.”

1. Position

The wrong camera angle will make you look like a completely different (and worse-looking) person. When I have the wrong camera angle, I cannot help but notice that a few unfavorable features tend to become accentuated. We’ve all got ‘em (you can guess what they are).

Prior to going live, take a few minutes to do a test of each of the major places where you would shoot a video. Reposition the camera different ways and record a test clip. Then evaluate the three best positions, and mark them down with tape and note the logistics so you can replicate them easily.

Make sure that you are centered correctly on the screen and that you are looking up slightly. Being level with the camera is okay, but gazing down into the camera can make features look “droopy.” By the way, don’t stare at the webcam dot at the top of the screen; it has an odd effect on the viewer.