Put your Best Self out there

Matt Garman
18 Nov, 2020

It’s been 8 months into a new way of living (dare I say working) and some people are still not showing the best version of them. Adjusting to working from home and holding meetings online has taken time to get right and there have been moments where it has been far from perfect. From unexpected visitors appearing on screen to the unpredictable technical difficulties of seeing people’s lips moving, but no audio. We’ve become all too familiar with double checking our mute button and starting a conversation with, ‘Can you hear me?’. Despite video calls being the new normal, things still go wrong.

Fact, it’s important to consider where you sit and the light positioning. Nobody wants to be sat in the dark (top left). Not to mention the unintentional uncomfortable feeling when someone’s nasal hair is visible. Think about your screen angle (top right).

A change in any situation poses a challenge to overcome. Whilst everyone’s home set-up is different – some huddled in a make-shift office in their bedroom, others perched on a chair at a lower than ideal coffee table – there are always tweaks that can be made behind the scenes. Who would have thought that half a dozen cookery books from the kitchen could serve another purpose of achieving the perfect height to rest your laptop on? And a quick fix of putting up a background to disguise that you’re actually sitting in the airing cupboard (bottom left) can make all the difference.

Adapting to a new way of work requires some effort to get right. For standard procedure, sitting at the same eye level as the other user, with a decent microphone and 2 additional lights on can have great impact on your delivery and how you are perceived. Video meetings are the closest thing to an in-person meeting we have for the time being, so let’s value these snippets of human interaction and maximise the experience.