How to create the perfect background for your next video call

Video meetings – you’ve probably had more of them in the past few weeks than you have in the past few years. As well as being brilliant for keeping in touch, they’re also an insight into the lives of your co-workers, clients, and your boss. 

As people dial in from home offices, kitchens, bedrooms, and occasionally the garden, it’s impossible not to check out the room that is all of a sudden a background.

So, the question is, how do you create the perfect background for your next video call? Well, let us explain…

FAIL TO PREPARE. PREPARE TO FAIL.

Nothing says ‘I had no idea this call was planned’ than dialing in 7 minutes late, wet hair dripping on your keyboard, clothes strewn all over the room, your cat being sick on the carpet, whilst your child dances along to Baby Shark (Do do do do do do) – it’s in your head now – and an unmade bed. 

The key to the perfect video call background is being prepared. At the end of each day, make a note of what video calls you have tomorrow. Then as soon as you fire up the laptop in the morning, be sure to double-check what calls are coming up that day to make sure that no last-minute meetings have been slipped in by the colleague trying to catch out any people who are slacking off at home.

 

CONSIDER THE THREE C’s:

 

  • Clean – clean the room that you are taking video calls in. You don’t have to do the whole house, but at least pretend to your coworkers that you do hoover the carpet more than once every quarter and you take pride in your household. Also, if you’re dialing in from the kitchen table, be sure to clear away any empty cans or bottles from the night before.
  • Check – this one’s particularly important. No one wants to get caught out on a video call with a dartboard with their bosses face pinned to the bullseye, their fluffy handcuffs still attached to the bedpost or their childhood teddy bears. Be sure to check what shows up on camera prior to logging in to that all-important call. 
  • Compose – take a deep breath. Yes, this morning’s episode of Good Morning Britain may have got you all riled up, but don’t let that show. Find your inner calm before you connect to the video conference.

GO VIRTUAL(LY) ANYWHERE WITH YOUR BACKGROUND.

 If you’re familiar with the video conferencing app Zoom, you may have come across the wonders of the virtual background

Zoom’s virtual background feature allows you to display an image or video as your background during a meeting. So if you don’t fancy showing off your house, why not go wild and use a virtual background.

The beauty of the virtual background is that you can upload your own images or videos. I recently came across this feature when logging on to the weekly Friday night quiz to see my mustached face standing next to the cricket world cup as my friend’s virtual background. Nice. He’d got the aspect ratio perfect, so it actually looked like I was in the room with him.

So, get creative with your background on your next video call. Just make sure you select the right photo!

 

SET THE STAGE AND USE PROPS.

If you don’t want to go virtual with your background and you fear there could be some awkward silences on the call why not strategically place items in the background? 

Whether it’s your Marshall Amp stack with your vintage Gibson guitar or your office shelf lined with trophies that you won as a child, placing items of interest (or conversation starters) is a great way to fill the void of dead air. 

Get practicing your ‘Oh, I forgot that was there! Yeah, I do play guitar actually…’ Who knows by the end of the next call maybe you could serenade the client with ‘Wonderwall’. I said maybe…

REMEMBER TO LEAVE THE MEETING.

Whilst it can be tempting to vent your frustrations once you’ve left a video call, do just check that you actually have left. No one on the call wants to see you politely wave goodbye, only to stand up, shake your head and start laying into your coworkers. Always double-check you have safely left the video call before. 

So, there you go some tips to help you create the perfect video background on your next call.

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