Check Your Background (and Filter) Before You Zoom

cluttered home officeThe Texas lawyer who presented a case in virtual court as an adorable kitten because he and his assistant could not figure out how to remove the filter – probably left on by one of his children – provided a great deal of entertainment, but also served as a caution for everyone who attends virtual meetings.

Not only should filter options be reviewed before joining the meeting but pay close attention to your background. If you choose to use your office space as your background, take a critical look at what is shown behind you. Is your bookshelf so messy and disorganized that other members of the audience are distracted? Do you have photos of friends and family – have they given permission for you to “broadcast” their image? Do any items reflect the light in the room to create annoying glare behind you?

The sign-making company, Madison Avenue, offers a long list of tips on “How to Pick the Best Backdrop for Video Meetings or Virtual Events” in a blog. A few of their tips include:

  • No backdrop – Simplest solution for a backdrop but be sure to consider what is in the background and pay close attention to lighting.
  • Outdoor setting – Another excellent, free solution, it is contingent on weather and the presence of a strong Wi-Fi signal as well as an electrical outlet for long meetings.
  • Zoom background – Also free to Zoom clients, the tool is best used with a green screen for a crisper look and sometimes hair, glasses or clothing can cause a breakdown in the tool’s effort to frame you properly – creating a distorted background.
  • Green screen – Simple green fabric or vinyl attached to a mounting rig provides the “clean slate” for your background image but requires attention to space needs and what you wear – the green screen eliminates any green shades you may be wearing.
  • Whiteboard – Provides a blank slate that offers endless customization that can occur real-time. Because a whiteboard’s surface reflects light, the placement of your lighting source should be carefully considered to avoid a distracting glare.

For the full article, click here.