How to Look Great on Zoom Calls with these 3 Tips
“Cheat for the camera” is a common direction given to actors on film or video. It simply means they need to adjust their behavior for the audience’s benefit – because what the audience sees on their screen is much different than what they would see in person. And you can use these same tips or “cheats” to look great on Zoom calls and virtual meetings.
For example, when you see two actors talking to each other on a film or tv show, you rarely see their profiles. Instead they “cheat out” by tilting their heads towards the camera so that you, the audience, can see their expressions and have the best possible experience. They are also standing way, way closer to each other than you would ever stand in real life. (That’s why they call them mouthwash shots)
And if you’ve ever presented, live you’ve probably cheated your behavior, in other words adjusted your behavior in a way that didn’t feel “natural” for the benefit of your audience, like, angling yourself next to your slides, adjusting your body language/voice for the space, etc.
In the same way, there are a few cheats you need to make on camera for the benefit of your virtual audience.
Three Cheat for the Camera tips:
- Look at the Camera.
I know this goes against everything you’ve ever been taught. But on video, the camera is the eyes of your audience. They don’t care why you aren’t doing it, they only know how it feels. Bottom line.
- Use “video-friendly” gestures.
What does that mean? It means gestures that are slow, precise and in frame. Like eye contact, this takes developing muscle memory so that you know when you’re in frame without looking at your image during a life call.
- Ramp up your energy.
Low energy does not read well on camera. The camera already takes away up to half of your energy, and you can’t count on your virtual audiences to give you any energy to feed off of like they do in person, so you need to bring more energy than you think.
So when you’re on camera, not only do you have permission to cheat, but it is highly recommended that you do for your audience’s sake.
Want more tips to help you look better on zoom calls? Download my On-Camera Cheatsheet below.