Virtual Meeting Tip: Professional appearance via Zoom background images

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When participating in virtual meetings from home (a lot of folks are doing that at the moment!), there is the question of how to present oneself professionally on screen.  That case is made stark by photos of “looking professional vs. unprofessional from home” in Depict’s article on the subject.

I participated in several meetings in Zoom this last week.  I opted to present a background better than that of a home office.  I loaded photos in Zoom that I rotated as my background during the various meetings – including the photo above.  Granted, I’m a photographer with my own line of greeting cards so I’ve got plenty of quality images from which to choose.  The result: overwhelmingly positive.  My background appearance received favorable comments in every online meeting – with meeting attendees sometimes asking me how they could do the same.  Further, I selected background photos for which I could tell a great side story at each meeting – a photo from my trip to Ireland, the above photo of “my favorite place on earth, located in my hometown,” etc.

Would you also like to save yourself the trouble of managing a positive home background appearance in your virtual meetings? In Zoom, log-in and navigate your way to settings.  There’s an option for “virtual backgrounds.”  The virtual background option allows you to choose one of Zoom’s preloaded images for your virtual background or you can upload images of your own.  Side benefit: uploading an image of your own allows you to “pick a story you’d like to showcase” during meetings.

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