Remember this – from a time before we were all using Zoom – small children crash into their father’s office – interrupting the professor’s interview on South Korea!
With interviews now being broadcast from home all the time, I wanted to share some advice we give our clients.
- Don’t use Zoom for the first time during a recorded interview! Zoom is very easy to use but you need to be familiar with the layout and particularly how to switch on sound and vision.
- The big one! So many people do this – even TV presenters!!! Do not have your laptop flat on your desk unless you want to showcase your best nostril hair and double chin!!! Raise your laptop until it is level with your eyes. You want to look straight at the camera. A level eyeline is SO important and much more flattering!
- Light! You are your own camera operator here. You don’t want to have a window immediately behind you and you don’t want to be facing the full glare of the sun. It’s best to have a window to one side and boost lighting, as needed, using lamps. Log in to a Zoom meeting with yourself and move your laptop around until you have found the best place.
- Check you background. Move those disorderly piles of paper out of shot. You don’t want a bare wall behind you but equally you don’t want anything ultra fussy or distracting. Definitely remove bottles of wine and children’s toys.
- Add energy. You might just be chatting at home on your laptop but you are also broadcasting! Speak more slowly than you would do normally but add passion and enthusiasm.
- Sit up straight. Don’t lean into the screen (too intense) but equally don’t be a slouch.
- In a domestic setting you probably won’t want to appear ultra formal but nevertheless, look neat and avoid distracting jewellery. Plain colours (not black or white) are best.
- You may be in your home environment but don’t let this give you a false sense of security. You need to prepare every bit as much as you would in a formal setting. Equally don’t think you can read notes – you would lose credibility.
- When you have everything sorted – record an interview with yourself and play it back. What could be improved?
- What can go wrong will go wrong – as per Professor Richard Kelly’s interview above! For me personally, precautions involve asking the dog-walker to take the dogs away, sticking big signs on all doors (including the front door) asking for no interruptions and switching off landlines and mobile phones for the duration.
Good luck and enjoy!