24 Mar 2020 By Amanda Caley

Tips for Staging Your Video Conference Backdrop

As video conferencing and online business meetings via Skype, Facetime and other applications are going to become important tools for all of us over the coming weeks and months, here are a few tips to help you create a professional backdrop for your online meetings with clients and business associates.

What’s behind you?

Do a spot of tidying up as lots of clutter in the background is very distracting and it doesn’t look professional or set a great example; especially if one of the services you offer is decluttering!

If possible find a private space for your call to avoid interruptions or background distractions. If you can’t then use headphones to minimise background noise.

Side tables

If you have a side table in view, stage it with a vase of fresh flowers or a plant. Good quality faux flowers or plants can work well too.

Bookcases

If you have a bookcase in view make sure it is tidy, organised and interesting.

Lighting

Check your lighting before the conference call. Make sure your face is clear and well lit. The best way to achieve this is to have a light source slightly to one side, this can be either a window in daylight or lamps when there is no natural light available. You will get the best results from natural daylight. If there is no natural light use soft directional lamps. Play around with the position of the lamps, often if it is too harsh, although it sounds counter-intuitive, bringing the lamps closer can help to soften the shadows on your face. If the light from the lamps is too harsh then try directing the lamps at a wall and bouncing the light off the wall.

What to wear?

Think about what you are going to wear for your meeting, just as you would if you were going to have a face-to-face meeting. I love alliterations so here’s 5 Cs to keep in mind:

  • Comfortable – choose an outfit that fits well and you don’t need to constantly re-adjust.

  • Casual – smart and stylish but not over-dressed.

  • Careful – make sure your accessories are not too distracting.

  • Colour – a pleasing colour that doesn’t clash with your backdrop.

  • Confidence – something that you feel good wearing.

Backdrop Option 1 – A plain wall

A plain wall behind your desk or workspace is definitely the easiest option. If you can, position your desk so that you have a plain wall behind you with an interesting picture or a set of pictures on the wall. White or light coloured walls work best.

    My Property Reviver office                           Paloma Harrington-Griffin, HSA Founder

Option 2 – A backdrop sheet or partition

If it’s not possible to position your workspace so that you have a wall behind you or the wall behind you doesn’t make for a good backdrop then you can always consider investing in a white backdrop sheet. You can add a side table or bookcase to one side. Or attach a poster to the backdrop sheet. Alternatively, have a browse through the many other backdrops available. You can pick one up online for under £20.

Examples of backdrop sheets

If you need something to section off your work area then a partition could be an option as it will double up as a good backdrop for your video conference calls. You can pick one up online for under £100.

Examples of partitions

Option 3 – A virtual background

If you are using Zoom then you have the option of downloading a virtual background. For more information on this visit their support centre https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/210707503-Virtual-Background.

Option 4 – Blurred background in Skype

If you don’t have time to tidy up your workspace area then you can set a blurred background in Skype. All you need to do is hover over the “Video” button during a call and click on the “Blur my background” button.

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