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In the Zoom/Microsoft Teams age that we are all now living in, the ability to deliver information online in an engaging, confident and impactful way has never been more important. Below is a top ten list of tips to help you come across as a professional both technically and as a communicator.


  1. Positioning – check your screen set up. You need to ensure you are central to the camera with equal distancing to the sides and not too much space above your head. Remember the camera is more flattering when pointing slightly down rather than up. Prop your phone/laptop on top of a few books and try out a few angles before going “live”. This will also help you focus on the camera.


  1. Audio – check your audio, and then check it again before the interview starts. Have a set of headphones ready in case your speakers fail.


  1. Lighting – make sure sunlight is not directly in front of you or behind you. The former will make you appear illuminated while the latter will leave you in the darkess. If you can, switch your room light on or a desk lamp to make sure your face is adequately lit. Natural light is always the best option however.


  1. Wardrobe – yes, only the top part of your body can be seen, but you never know what may happen during the “call”. Zoom history is littered with underpants images.


  1. Background – having a good background is important but the virtual options built into apps like Zoom are usually inappropriate for a business or media conversation. Try to position your camera towards a bookcase or a neutral wall with some plain artwork. The viewer should be focusing on you, not what’s behind you.


  1. Distractions – unless you live alone there is a chance that your partner, a child, or family pet will make a surprise appearance during your interview or online meeting. Professor Robert Kelly’s interview on the BBC is the gold medal example of this. If you’re comfortable with colleagues being given a window into your home life then fine. If not, then hang a “do not disturb” sign on the door.


  1. Connection – have a backup plan. If you are a desktop user, have the App ready to use on your phone in case your WiFi connection fails.


  1. Be energized. The most important word in every single InVision media and presentation training course is passion. If you want to capture your audience’s attention then you need to come across as passionate about your subject matter.


  1. Be prepared. Don’t think you can just wing it. Get one page of A4 paper and write down the three key messages that you want to deliver in your presentation or interview. Then think of ways to bring those messages to life with examples, colour or statistics.


  1. Practice makes perfect. Don’t try to learn your presentation in the way an actor learns a script, (you’re not an actor) but if at all possible, rehearse ahead of the real thing. You will feel more relaxed and confident when the camera is on you.