How to create the perfect Zoom background

We’ve all been spending more time at home lately… and that includes working from home. Before your next Zoom, Skype or Hangouts meeting, here’s how to set up the perfect background for video calls.

Get the lighting right

First things first: you want to look great on camera, right?

The key is to have the  light shining onto your face – not shining from behind you, or overhead. If the light comes from behind you, it will be hard to read your screen, and you’ll be hidden by shadows. If the light comes from above, it won’t look flattering.

So try to position your desk opposite a window, or with a lamp shining in front of you. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

Find the right backdrop

Finding the right backdrop for a video call can be tricky. You want to strike the balance between professionalism and a little bit of personality.

Of course, the safest option is a blank wall. But if that’s not possible – or you’d like to have a bit more fun with it – then there are other ideas you can try.

Many people take calls in front of their bookcase, or with an artwork hanging up behind them. You can also use a blind or window treatment as a backdrop. Just make sure your lighting is still OK!

So, for example, you could sit at a table with the blind closed behind you – but light from another window shining onto your face.

Shut out sound

Finally, make sure that you can hear and be heard comfortably. Close the doors and windows to block out sound from elsewhere. You can also use window treatments to insulate you from outdoor noise.

The surfaces inside your home also make a difference to sound quality. Rooms with high ceilings and lots of hard surfaces can make it difficult to hear well, because they create more of an echo. Try taking calls in a smaller space, with soft furnishings.

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