Working from home has become a new reality for all of us. It looks like we are in this situation for a longer time than most of us were initially thinking. Video conferencing, Zoom Calls, Skype, Google Meet and Facetime seems to be the new norm.

Can you still remember when we used Skype video chat back in the day? The low video and sound quality made it troublesome to really use it professionally. New tools such as Google Meet and Zoom.us have become very popular during these covid-19 times. 

Making video calls from home

To stay in touch with our team, stakeholders, clients and prospects we can use a variety of these tools. To have an as-real-as-it-gets connection with the other party, people are using the video option more and more. 

When we use these tools in the office we’re already in an office environment, but working from home has significantly changed this backdrop.

Zoom.us has a great feature to be able to simply change the background or even add a video as a backdrop. There is no real need – at least for video calling – to tidy your room and paint the walls. At the moment, this feature is available in the free version of Zoom, which comes with a few photos and video backgrounds. You can add any type of image/ photo/ video as background.

Professional appearance

zoom screenshot with virtual backgroundThere are now also dedicated websites offering highly professional photo and video backgrounds as a paid service, specifically for Zoom. Others are using royalty-free stock sites to find a nice looking office or scenic backdrop. Have a look at sites such as Pixabay and Unsplash and search for your perfect backdrop. Graphic design platform, Canva, has ready-made templates with office and other backdrops where you can add-in your name, company logo and role, check them out on Canva.

Smart ways to use backgrounds

When you are joining a call with a group of colleagues, imagine how it would look if everyone has the same background. Right, that would come across as professional with a high level of detail. 

You can even use a photo of your company’s boardroom setting. Go the extra mile and add your company logo on that photo with a tool such as Canva. Do you have a corporate value wall in the office, and have a photo of that, suggest your team to use that as a background. If you don’t have a picture of your boardroom, you can always find one in the beforementioned sites.

If you are pitching to a prospect, think of the impact to show his/her company logo behind you. Or go the extra step and add your and the prospect’s logo next to each other, eg. Your Company X Prospect’s Company. 

How to change your zoom background?

  • open the Zoom desktop app (Mac, Windows)
  • click your profile picture
  • click on Settings
  • on the left menu bar, click on the Virtual Background tab 
  • in the Virtual Background tab, select a default or upload your own image or video
  • Note, if this tab is not there: log in to the Zoom website and go to Settings and toggle on virtual background

Prepare your background in time

Needless to say, come prepared for your next Zoom call and select the correct virtual background in the settings. This is important when you are using logos of prospects. Make sure the background is not mirrored and that your face is not blocking the logo. 

I am looking forward to your thoughts and tips. Please leave them in the comments below.

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