If you're showing up to your virtual meetings as casual as a Sunday morning, it may be harming your reputation as a professional, according to Image Consultant Dani Slaugh, who shared the following information and tips.
Dani says, "It's time to keep up appearances, both for your own mental health AND job security. If you are one of those fortunate souls able to WFH (work from home), it's more important now than ever to maintain your polished appearance and send a message that's consistent with your in-office persona. After all, people are used to seeing how you look in the office. Having a crumpled, frumpy appearance at home is sending mixed signals about your dedication. Use this time made for TV moment to your advantage, to shine during video calls as you do in person."
1. Keep design details near the face
"As Ashton Kutcher says in 'Cheaper By the Dozen,' 'my face is the money maker.' This is where you want the focus. How can you keep the focus on your face? Wear a shirt with a collar is a great way to bring the focus near the face. Angular collars will appear more polished and purposeful than rounded collars. A third layer piece, will also add some visual authority and help your appearance to be more consistent with your message. The third layer will also provide contrast in the center of your body leading attention up to the face. A row of buttons on your shirt, a necklace or scarf will also draw their eyes up to yours."
2. Fit matters
"Be sure tops fit well on the shoulders with shoulder seam lines on the shoulder joint. Collars should be in scale with the frame of the person wearing them, narrower collars on a narrower person, wider collars (and ties) for a wider person."
3. Grooming is important
"You want the focus of the call to be on your face and what you have to say, not the wrinkles on your shirt, or the messy room you're in. Make sure your clothes look neat, ironed, hair is done well and make-up looks natural and you`re good to go."
4. Wear the right colors
"Not much has been written about this one and yet it`s a simple way to create a strong message. Repeat your eye color in your clothing and others have trouble focusing on anything but your eyes. Repeat your lip color and others will focus on your mouth."
5. What about the background?
"When possible contrast your hair color with your background. Dark hair with a light background, light hair with a darker background. You could also take one of the colors in your background and repeat it in your clothing. For example, if there's a green plant in view, wear an emerald green to coordinate with it. Eliminate as many distractions as possible. Keep the background simple, neat, and organized. If that's not possible, some apps even allow you to change the background."
6. Good lighting, strategically placed
"Proper lighting eliminates unwanted shadows that may skew a person's facial expressions or appearance. Sit facing a light source. Sitting with your back to a window or bright light source can negatively impact the quality of the video call by giving you a harsh silhouette effect. Whenever possible, sit facing a window, desk lamp, or other light source to ensure your face is well illuminated and clearly visible. Natural lighting it great. If possible, sit facing a window, if not possible use soft directional light, the closer it is to you the better. You may even want to set up two lights. If you imagine a clock in front of you, position one light at at 11 o'clock and one at 2 o'clock. Using a lot of white or bright surfaces and walls in your room will brighten up the space by bouncing light around." (Lighting tips provided by lifesize.com.)
Dani Slaugh helps people all over the world find their perfect colors, styles, beauty, and even virtual backgrounds! Find her at stylebydani.com.