If you have a home office, you may choose it as your Zoom background. On the other hand, if you’re working from a spare room, closet or vehicle, for example, you may decide to go with a virtual environment. Regardless of your choice, here are four tips for keeping your Zoom background professional.
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1. Stay Professional Online
Before you stage your actual or virtual background, don’t forget that staying professional online adds to the quality and outcome of your meeting or session. Here are a few points of note:
- Wear business-appropriate attire
- Test your system before you interact with others
- Zoom from a quiet location
- Look at your camera while speaking
- Turn off notifications and pop-ups to limit distractions
- Choose minimal Zoom backgrounds
2. Represent Your Company
Whether you’re Zooming with colleagues, peers or clients, choose attire or display objects that represent your company. There are many ways to visually position your company, from wearing your office name tag to using a logoed trade show booth as your background. However subtle or small, these efforts show others that you’re a loyal team player.
Something as simple as wearing company colors or clothing or putting up a poster or photo behind you can create a professional ambiance with minimal effort. Other ideas include positioning a logoed coffee mug, pencil holder or nameplate on your desk.
3. Choose an Appropriate Virtual Background
As noted above, a minimal background works best to stay professional, so what are your choices? If you have a high-resolution photo of a professional or high-tech office space, consider using it as your background. You can also personalize the image by adding your name and title.
If you don’t have an appropriate office background, search online for stock images of professional workspaces or environments that reflect your work personality, field and industry. Don’t forget to figure out how to use virtual background in teams before logging into a meeting. Nobody wants to see you sweat and fidget while the meeting minutes tick by.
4. Adjust Lighting and Contrast
Essential aspects of professional Zoom backgrounds are lighting and contrast. Whether you’re using a real or virtual environment, make sure light is shining on your face rather than behind you, which can create a silhouette effect. Also, if you’re using a virtual background, try to wear lighter or darker clothing so that your chosen background retains its shape around your form.
If you’ve never used a virtual background before, it’s an excellent plan to take some time to figure out how to add virtual background in teams before your meeting. Tinkering with your setup while other attendees look on can give them a negative impression of you and your professional capabilities.
To learn more about creating a professional Zoom background, browse executives’ blogs and business websites for best practices, innovative trends and creative hacks. You’ll glean even more ideas such as focusing on the speaker, limiting eating or drinking, avoiding multitasking, and muting your microphone when not speaking.