We all love a versatile piece of clothing! First, start with a pant that is both professional and comfortable.
Looking Your Best On Google Meet
This week, online meetings (both with students and with colleagues) exploded in upstate New York. Like many, I had been experimenting with different formats but the recent announcement from Governor Cuomo that the lockdown would continue until the end of April seemed like a turning point. Immediately, administrators scheduled meetings and encouraged online professional development.
I had been spending most of the morning in my pajamas (to be honest, I’m most productive in my pjs). But the onslaught of virtual reality has forced me to get dressed and brush my hair before nine. Nevertheless, I didn’t like what I saw when I glimpsed my image; the camera is not always kind.
Projecting a flattering and professional appearance in your virtual meetings is important and a few quick tweaks to you and your surroundings can accomplish that.
First of all, consider lighting. Natural light is best, but you don’t want to be shooting into the light, so the ideal situation is one in which your light source is in front of you. I have a lot of windows in my house, so finding the spot that is both quiet and offers good lighting can be hard. This little item from Amazon helps if you are struggling low light: Selfie Ring Light
Once you’ve got the lighting figured out, the camera angle is the next thing you should pay attention to. Any woman who has posted anything to social media understands that if the camera is shooting up at you, you will be unpleasantly surprised at the chins you didn’t know you had. The best angle is straight ahead or slightly higher than eye level. Than means you need to raise your laptop. Grab some books or a box and raise the laptop up so that the camera is across from you. This change alone will make a tremendous difference. You can use books as I do or invest in a stand: laptop stand
Next, spend some time on yourself. You don’t have to primp like you’re getting ready for prom, but a little foundation goes a long way. Especially if you are in your fifties, as I am! Keep the makeup light, but pay attention to the area under your eyes and to your eyebrows; neglecting these two areas can really age you. For dark circles, I rely on Maybelline Effaceur to even out the skin under my eyes. To define my brows, I use Maybelline's Tattoo Studio Brow Pomade. Widen your eyes with L'Oreal's Bambi Eye Mascara. Finally, I need a little lip color to look like I am...alive. My favorite option these days is Maybelline's Super Stay lip color in Always Heather.
Finally, while you are on a call or conference, it can be tempting to look at your own image. It’s easy to find yourself distracted by the piece of hair that won’t play by the team rules…but others can definitely tell when you are looking at yourself which is why I suggest you check out what you look like before the meeting and then hide your image from yourself. When you are speaking, look into the camera. Although it may feel awkward, it will look natural to the others at the meeting. Many people (I am guilty of this myself), will let their eyes wander to their phone. Don’t forget, people can still see you and it’s always best to stay professional.
“…I retreat into my fictional world where everything makes sense—but even there I can’t even control what people do…”