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Virtually speaking...

Have you thought about the spaces you use for Zoom, House Party or other web based meetings? I've noticed a few common themes so thought I would share some easy ways to be present on screen in a way that is appealing... it doesn't involve cosmetics!

I do recommend clothes.

1. Set up so your self view is of your top half and not just your face. This does mean moving back from the device you are using but makes for a more comfortable seating position and a better aesthetic for the viewer.


2. Where is the light source? If it is behind you, your face will be in darkness. If you are facing a window the sun could well blind you.

3. Consider what is behind and around you, is it a row of books, the ironing, bottles of grog? Whether this matters will be up to you and how you consider those you are speaking with.


4. Try having natural things in shot - a simple houseplant is quite effective and can have a calming effect. Having plants and an orderly area around you can influence the right mindset too.


5. Pets can be a pleasant diversion and, again, consider who you are speaking with and if they really need to see the cat's backside in close up. Are you somewhere with a door that you can close to muffle the dog's excited alert to you when the postman comes?


6. Get creative and have fun, Zoom has a number of backgrounds you can add 'green screen' style. These include Hogwarts, the cockpit of a hornet jet fighter, outer space or a country garden. Again, pick your time and your audience!

7. Listen attentively, it's easy to get distracted when you are not face to face.

8. Speak with consideration. Don't speak over others, it's rude anyway but gets very confusing in screen world. Use your mute wisely.

Do add more of your own in the comments - try not just to add pet peeves but helpful tips you have found in your explorations of the Skypesphere, Webexworld and Zoomiverse.

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