With virtual meetings becoming the norm for client and coworker interactions, it’s critical not to allow professional standards to fall by the wayside. People you interact with deserve to see you at your best, and properly representing your company’s image remains important. Here are five tips, including looking sharp and using branded, free Zoom backgrounds, that go a long way toward keeping your online meetings polished and appropriate.
1. Testing Your Tech
Almost nothing gets a meeting off to a worse start than failed technology. Give yourself a few minutes before connection time to test your meeting platform, web camera, and microphone to confirm they’re working correctly. Be sure to grant audio and screen-sharing permissions ahead of time, too, to avoid delays.
2. Checking Your Background
While confirming your tech is in order, take a look at what your meeting participants will see in your own background. Remove any not-suitable-for-work photos or items and watch for colors or patterns that are distracting. To keep the focus on you, download a virtual backdrop from a resource that provides the best Teams backgrounds, professional and on-point.
3. Company Logo
Including your company logo in your online imagery signals professionalism and is an excellent way to boost brand recognition. While it’s fine to sip from a company coffee mug to flash your brand, one of the smartest ways to feature your logo is by making it a part of your virtual background. It’s a win-win situation: you don’t have to worry about inappropriate visuals behind you, and your company is subtly supported in the process.
4. Dressing the Part
Once your tech and visuals are up to snuff, it’s time to focus on presenting yourself in a polished light. A good rule of thumb is to dress as though you are meeting face-to-face. Your attire should suit the formality of the conference, and you should be appropriately dressed from head to toe. Although you may expect to remain seated throughout the discussion, you never know when you’ll need to stand up to retrieve a file or grab something off the printer.
5. Eliminating Distractions
Finally, take measures to ensure you’ll stay focused and engaged throughout the meeting. Assess the noise level around you, and, if necessary, adjust your meeting platform’s noise suppression settings to compensate. Close your office door, silence notifications, and leave your cell phone out of reach so you’re not tempted to check emails. While you may be great at multitasking, if it wouldn’t be appropriate to work on something else during an in-person gathering then it shouldn’t be done in a virtual meeting, either.
Now that you have some great ideas to boost professionalism in your next virtual meeting, it’s time to set yourself up for success. Start by visiting the website of a top meeting tool developer to find the perfect virtual office background for Teams, Zoom, or whatever platform you use. Downloading a custom, work-appropriate backdrop and following these other top tips ensures you present yourself professionally in all your online conferences.