by Jimmy Nguyen

We are currently living in what feels like a transcendent digital age. The 21st century brought about countless advancements in technology—these advancements can be seen through consumer tech, medical tech, and more. In March of 2020, we were further pushed into the digital realm as many people transitioned to working-from-home or telecommuting due to the nature of the pandemic. As we move forward in this digital age, there are many things we can do to improve our quality of representation on Zoom and many other digital platforms!

The first thing we need to consider when being on camera is lighting. Lighting can drastically change how you are seen through your webcam and can create different moods depending on how the lighting is in your environment. When being on camera during the daytime, try to sit near a window or any other natural light source if at all possible. Natural light compliments all skin tones and gives everything an ethereal glow! If you have to be on camera after the sun goes down (hopefully not), utilizing light sources such as lamps or ring lights to light up your face from the front or side can really make a big difference in how you look on camera. If none of these light sources are available, a nice trick I learned is actually to google “yellow background” and have that window open during my Zoom meetings. This yellow background will provide a warm glow from your computer monitor and will provide an adequate light source for you.

Beyond the visual, we must also consider the audio! Many devices nowadays have microphones built in and for the most part, they’re not all that bad. However, there is always room for improvement. If you have the resources available, utilizing any external headsets or microphones will provide a better source of audio and will make your voice crystal clear. There’s no need to get extra fancy and get yourself a bedazzled Britney headset mic—the headsets that come with most cell phones (looking at you, iPhone users! We all know there are a ton of those Apple headphones lying around!) are more than adequate and created to pick up your voice clearly and without disruption. Using headphones also is a “two birds with one stone” type moment as it’ll also give you a chance to listen to audio clearly without having to max out the volume on the speakers on your devices.

Hopefully these tips will give you a chance to present the best YOU in Zoom! Technology can be scary but with a little bit of research and perseverance, we can all master this beast and take advantage of these amazing resources!

How do you present yourself on Zoom? Let us know in the comments!

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