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Author explores key to ‘looking good’ during video chat

Five simple tips can ensure that video conferencing participants look their best on camera, according to mashable.com‘s Amanda Wills.

Ms Wills investigated the secrets to looking great on camera following her own experiences of a new phenomenon dubbed the “Facebook effect”.

Earlier this month, slashgear.com, among others, reported that cosmetic surgeons in America are seeing a dramatic rise in patients wishing to improve their appearance after seeing themselves on video conferencing interfaces.

Just like those seeking picture-perfect digital representation, Ms Wills is also painfully aware of how important it is to look good on camera and so has offered up five top tips for video conferencing users.

Firstly the lighting should be right, says Ms Wills. “Ensure you have several light sources and that they are all indirect to avoid dark shadows or a shiny-face effect,” she noted, adding that having a light source from the behind the camera works best.

Maintaining eye contact with the camera and not the preview screen is also essential, as this helps avoid “unflattering postures”. It also ensures better communication between participants. This could be crucial when pitching an idea to a client in a business meeting for example, or when negotiating a contract, as eye-contact is just one form of body language that helps to convey trust between two people.

It’s for this reason that anything else that could distract the other party – such as patterned clothing, or excessive jewellery – should be avoided.

Getting the angle of the camera right is also a must, as looking down at it can make faces “seem wider”. The lens should always be at a direct line with a user’s forehead.

Finally, sitting up straight was recommended. “Make sure your total upper body – not just your face – is visible in the camera area. To provide you with some comfort, keep in mind the caller on the other side only sees you from the waist up,” explained Ms Wills.