5 Tips for a Professional look on Zoom

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

All organisations who need to communicate with their customers/clients and teams are experiencing an unprecedented challenge and that means adapting to new technologies.

Zoom has become the most popular platform but this article is relevant to any platform that allows people to interact with each other in a face to face digital way. In fact Zoom has become a generic word as Hoover did for vacuum cleaners in the past.

What this has meant is that for the first time we have had to allow people into our homes and that has become acceptable because of our need to conduct business. It has become evident that most of us have made the transition some better than others but as we are now likely to be using this technology into the future we have to ask ourselves, what could be the long term impact on our brand and image. There are two schools of thought out there, one who believe that presenting yourself to the world 'au natural' is perfectly acceptable whilst others like myself believe that we should reflect how we would like people to see us as we were in the real world. Whichever school of thought you come from using some or all of these 5 suggestions will help you improve your online presence.

  1. What is going on in your background. This poses a real challenge as we are confined to bedrooms, kitchens and anywhere that has a bit of space. I use a green screen that can be put up in 2 minutes and packed away again in a wardrobe. It is not expensive and is far better than the virtual one on some computers which have a tendency to blur around the edges with movement. There are other less expensive ones to suit any budget and delivery is usually less than a week. See here

  2. Lighting is posing a challenge for nearly everybody because not everyone has access to natural light coming into the room they are using. If you can you should be facing the light but even this will pose a challenge as Winter sets in. I have bought a light that sticks to the back of my laptop and can be adjusted depending on the amount of light I need. Again there are other options and delivery is less than a week. See here

  3. What background image do you want to use? You can be creative as you like and a lot of people are having fun with this. Me, I am a bit boring and just want consistency with my brand. There are tutorials on how to do this and if I can do it, I believe that anyone can do it. See here

  4. Ideally your head should be centred on the screen and the screen should be at eye level. You can prop your laptop on something or use a dedicated stand from Ikea. See here

  5. Finally, the biggest challenge is to look at the camera on your laptop when speaking. This is harder than you think because there is a tendency to want to look at the person. A tip for this is to put a sheet of paper across your screen to blank it out and that has another benefit if you are presenting because you can have your notes on it. This means that your eyes don't have to move very much which gives that professional look.

Whether we like it or not the world of business has changed and being seen online regularly is part of it. I have covered just the basics but if you would like to elevate yourself to another level of professionalism like some of my clients then this workshop is a must. https://www.alecwdrew.com/communicate-with-confidence

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Alec Drew, KBE shares his passion and knowledge around productivity and communications in the professional services sector. A major part of his 40 years in business was spent as Managing Partner of a highly successful branding agency where he worked with a wide range of CEO’s across all sectors. His insightful questioning and straight talking opened up new conversations, giving them fresh insights into their own organisations and uncovering valuable revenue streams that were previously overlooked. One strategy helped his clients achieve €3.23 billion in additional sales over a 5 year period.

He demonstrates the positive effect on shareholder value when all levels of an organisation speak the same language.  


As an international speaker he shows very quickly how a simple shift in mindset can have such a positive impact on the bottom line. He hates waffle, verbose explanations and jargon and his talks get straight to the point in a no nonsense but entertaining way. ’Technology - The Time Thief’ is a fresh and honest look at the combined effects of technology and communications not just on business but on society as a whole.


He hosts a weekly radio show where business leaders from all sectors share seminal moments in their lives. Asking insightful questions he encourages guests to retrace their steps from the start of their career to where they are now and talk about key influencers that shaped their success. It gives listeners their weekly fix of encouragement to believe in themselves and demonstrates the abundance of resources that are available to help you complete your journey to destination SUCCESS.  


He is Past President of the Professional Speaking Association, Ireland, a member of the PSA and the Global Speaking Federation. 


'The concept of business is simple until you let a human being near it' - Alec Drew