“When the cat’s away, the mice will play,” the old saying goes, and it often leads to having ice cream for dinner or filling a sink with dirty dishes when the spouse is away for the weekend.
These situations mean you can cover up the evidence later, but people who adopt the “party mouse” mentality while engaging on a professional webcam sales meeting seem to have missed the point of the memo — don’t get caught! Working from anywhere can be liberating, but you still have to keep up appearances as you would in real life.
To help you avoid looking slovenly or making critical Facetime faux pas, follow these fashion tips based on the best dressed/worst dressed webcam hosts.
Worst: The “Good Morning, Er, Afternoon” Look
Michael knows he has a webcam meeting at 1 p.m. and no eed to go to the office today, so he sleeps in a little bit. He rolls out of bed at 10:30, fixes a pot of coffee and reads the news. Afterwards, he sets up his laptop in the kitchen, does a little work to kill time, then waits for his meeting to come around.
When he shows up on camera, he’s wearing a Hugh Hefner-esque robe, carrying bigger bags under his eyes than a Kardashian luggage check and sporting the same hairdo Bill Murray rocked in Kingpin.
Lesson learned: Dress like you would for the office, and give yourself time to prepare for the web meeting rather than letting it catch you off guard. Especially if you are on a web call or on a web demo with prospects. In addition to dressing like you’re at a live meeting, make sure your background is a clean office type setup.
Best: The “Sharp Dressed Man” Look
Brian knows he has a web meeting at 1 p.m., so he presses his shirt ahead of time and lays it out for the morning of the meeting. He wakes up with plenty of time to prepare, brushes his teeth, showers, styles his hair and puts on his suit. He takes a second to study himself on his webcam to get every hair in place and all the food out of his teeth. He does some work to kill time, but is ready for the webcam meeting 30 minutes early and looking great.
Lesson Learned: You can never prepare too much for any meeting, including ones on the web. Take care of factors that can’t be seen, like being freshly bathed, to feel your best and therefore look your best.
Worst: The “Have I Seen You on Hoarders?” Look
Laura has a webcam meeting while at the office. She prepares for it in advance, including looking her best in the morning. Her day is jam packed up until the second she has to log on, though. When she does, her office behind her is a distracting mess of knick knacks, paperwork and disheveled furniture.
Lesson learned: Take into account the appearance of your environment as well as yourself. Clear away any clutter. Or, if you don’t have the time, choose an environment with a clean, non-distracting look, like in front of an orderly bookshelf. If you don’t have a nice home office set up its important to invest in one, or opt for a clean wall as your background. Make sure your laptop is propped up on something because a lap top sitting flat on a desk starring up at your nose is unflattering for everyone. If you work from home and have pets, make sure to keep them far from you during the call as well.
Best: The “Third Time’s the Charm” Look
Jacqueline prepares for a webcam meeting by applying her formal makeup look and wearing a fashionable dress. When she gets in front of the camera, she realizes her makeup and dress are far too dark for the camera, making her face look almost ghoulish.
Not dismayed, she cleans off her makeup and applies a lighter look along with a more casual dress. When she tests her camera again, it looks far better, but still not quite right. She fetches a floor lamp and adjusts her desk lamp to provide ample rear lighting and puts a cushion in her chair to sit up taller. Now she looks ready to conquer anything!
Lesson learned: Your best look in public may not be your best on-camera look. Your appearance may also vary because of environmental factors, so try to adjust lighting and other conditions to optimize your webcam appearance.
Practicing How to Dress for Webcam Meetings and Preparing for Sales Calls with Sales Training Videos
How you look is a critical factor in sales, and it may not always require obvious techniques.
At the same time, good old-fashioned confidence and know-how can boost your ability to convey messages. Get some practice by watching our sales training videos and the “How to Use a Webcam Properly” one in particular. Now you’re ready for your close-up!