The Secrets to Looking Good on Video Chat

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

by Jackson Monroe,

Now that Coronavirus has kept us farther apart than a chaperone at a middle school dance, we’ve all had to get used to more virtual methods of communication. Video chat has suddenly entered your life like never before, you have to ask yourself how you can look just as good on screen as you do in person. Many people think they are video chat experts. However, people are victims of the same pitfalls over and over again. They only show half their face on the screen, are barely audible, or have some kind of circus happening behind them. Video chat is easy once you get the hang of it, but, first, it’s important to follow these seven tips to look your best on video chat.

Lighting Is Key

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when video chatting is sitting with your back to a window, making you backlit. When you are backlit, it creates a silhouette that hides your smile and body language. Instead, move so you face the window. Here, the soft light on your face will look great on camera. If you don’t have a place to sit facing a window, you can always place a lamp behind your computer to provide the same effect.

Look Your Camera in the Eye

Make sure to not sit above your computer screen, causing the camera to look up at your face in an unflattering way. We recommend arranging your computer to be eye level instead. Not only will you look your best when your camera looks you in the eyes, but it won’t seem like you are looking down on those you are talking to, making you seem even more genuine. You can even raise your camera by placing books or other objects underneath your computer until it’s the right height.

Choose a Simple Background

As backgrounds go, the simpler the better. A busy background can often distract from your conversation. A great background will not have people walking around behind you nor many distracting items hanging on the walls. Instead try to sit in front of a plain wall. After all, you want the focus of both the camera and the conversation to be on you, not your coffee mug collection behind you.

Distance Yourself

You want to make sure that you are not too close to your camera, as well. Computers have a wide camera built into them. The closer you get to the screen, the more distorted you will look. So, to counteract this, push the computer a little away from you or sit back in your chair. The microphone will hear you from far away, so no need to be so close. See the difference for yourself next time you video chat!

Find a Quiet Area

Finding a quiet place to video chat is super important. Even though there always seems to be someone mowing the lawn in the background, off-camera noises are distracting during a conversation. A quiet place will keep you engaged without having to worry about loud interruptions. If you can’t find a good spot, use some headphones or earbuds with a built in microphone to limit the noise in busy areas.

Use a Flat Surface

The importance of placing your computer on a flat surface is often overlooked. Your audio can often come across as distorted or drowned if your computer is moving around as you talk. If your computer is jostling around, all that movement can also make the person you are talking to uncomfortable and even nauseous. Using your legs to stabilize your computer will not give you the best visual and audio experience on video chat. So, instead, find a desk, counter, or table to use.

Dress to the Mood

Our last tip is to simply look accordingly. However you would look if you were talking to someone in person is how you would want to look over video chat. Computer cameras are in high definition these days, so they will see everything. Make sure you dress for the occasion, take a shower, or do whatever you need to do to look presentable in the situation that you are in.

We hope you enjoyed our advice! These seven tips will help you look great over video chat whether you are in a catch-up call, meeting, or family gathering. Of course, none of this matters if you have a lousy wifi connection, which you can test the strength of here.

Want to learn about the creators of the article? is a startup video chat company that, through an NIH-funded study, enhanced its design for older adult users and proved the platform’s potential to improve health and quality of life outcomes by increasing opportunities for social engagement.

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