By Charlie Fletcher
Since the year 2020 and the existence of COVID-19, video calls have become the new normal. Whether it’s a meeting for work or a conversation with a loved one far away, many of us are finding ourselves on video calls more than we ever imagined. But, while being able to talk to anyone face-to-face within seconds is a great convenience, for some, the transition to video is not so easy.
Although video technology has evolved by leaps and bounds, some women have concerns with how their appearance and confidence translate through a screen. But fear not, with some tweaks to your appearance and a bit of prep, you can exude confidence and look great during your next call.
Your Personal Appearance
If you like to wear makeup, you can start by applying eyeliner and mascara around your eyes, which will avoid the washed-out look that the camera can sometimes create. When out in public, your face is probably bright and clear, but the camera can tend to drown the color out of a room, so you can also apply a light blush to your face to make your natural color pop. In many cases, a neutral pink or coral can do wonders.
Remember that you don’t have to wear makeup to look beautiful and confident on camera. You can look just as great by posing naturally, smiling, and sitting in a well-lit room. Near a window is perfect during the day because the natural light will give your skin a nice, healthy glow. Consider having a light behind the camera to give your face/skin an extra boost. As far as your hair, you should wear it how you like so you feel natural, and if there is a certain way that you wear your hair for important events, consider styling it that way, so you can reach ultimate confidence.
Many women feel like they don’t look the same on camera as they do in person, and there is some truth to that. The camera tends to make our skin look a bit shinier than it is in real life, and it can create the appearance of greasy skin. To help with that, make it a habit to hydrate your skin regularly with a moisturizer, so even if the camera does create that sheen, your skin will still look as soft and smooth as possible. If you’re looking too glossy, a light dusting of face powder can take that away.
How you dress can also make a difference, but your attire can depend on who you are speaking to over the video call. If this is a professional interaction at work, then dressing in your best attire will make you look great and build your confidence, especially as you may be the best-dressed person on the call. Dressing well will also help your confidence during more casual calls, but you don’t have to go overboard and buy a new wardrobe. Sometimes, you can wear what you have at home and use layering to combine your sweaters, t-shirts, and scarves into a unique look that will make you feel like a star.
If this is an important call and you do need new clothes or accessories, you can get what you need even while on a budget by buying vintage at a thrift shop or searching online for coupons and sales. Remember you only need to look good from the waist up!
Exude Your Natural Confidence
If you are unsure how to appear confident on camera, just remember that you can look and sound great on video by using the same tactics that you use in real life. For example, when you are sitting in front of the computer, make sure to sit straight and retain good posture. You can accomplish that by sitting in a chair with good back support, which will make sitting up straight feel natural. Sitting this way will also make you appear more attentive, so the person you’re speaking to truly believes that you care about what they are saying.
If possible, you might want to try standing up for your call. You may find that you exude more energy when speaking this way – much the same as presenters usually stand rather than sit when making a presentation.
You should also smile whenever possible during the call, especially when you first appear on camera. By smiling, you show your natural beauty, and you will feel more confident when you do. Remember that although you might feel awkward, the person you are speaking to might be just as nervous, so smiling is a great way to make everyone feel comfortable so you can talk about family or get to the business at hand.
For some women, randomly calling up a friend or family member over video and striking up a conversation is a no-brainer, but when it comes to more serious family discussions or meetings at work, the nerves can kick in immediately. To remedy this situation, take some time before the call to practice what you want to say and maybe even jot down a few notes. That way, you can remember all of your talking points and your tricks for being confident without feeling overburdened.
Prep Your Tech
Even if you have implemented all of the beauty and confidence tricks above, if you start an important video call and your camera or sound isn’t working, then it’s easy to panic. That’s why it’s important to test your phone or computer a few minutes ahead of time to ensure that your camera turns on and that you can hear yourself when you speak. If one of these components isn’t working, then restart your device and try again.
You should also consider the background of your calls. A huge factor that can cause stress during a video call is when you are sitting in a messy room full of clutter or you have inappropriate items in the background. To set yourself up for success, make sure to choose your space carefully. Sit in a room with a soothing background, like a library or in front of a nice picture. You will also want a well-lit room as video can sometimes come off as quite dark.
Technology has also grown a lot as far as the backgrounds that you can turn on in video apps like Zoom and Skype. There are also pre-made virtual background templates that you can activate that will either blur your background, insert a fake picture of something like a cityscape, or you could insert your corporate logo if this is a business call. These backgrounds completely cover the screen behind you so you can film in any room without worrying about distractions.
In the end, we always want to look our best, whether we are virtual or sitting face-to-face in person. Try the tips above, and you will exude confidence during your next video call.
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. When not writing, she is a part-time wedding planner and spends time with her nephews.