If you’re promoting yourself as the world’s next big Marie Kondo phenomenon, it probably wouldn’t make sense to show piles of clutter and junk in the background of your video conference.
With people becoming more comfortable working from home, video meetings are quickly catching up to voice-only calls as a popular meeting option for teams that aren’t all in the same physical location.
Regardless of whether your video meeting takes place in your corner office, cubicle, or workspace part of your home, your environment can communicate a lot about who you are and how you work.
In this post, we’ll look at an element of video calls that’s sometimes overlooked: your background. We’ll delve into:
- The difference between a “good” and “bad” video meeting background
- 4 examples of video meeting backgrounds and what they can teach you about choosing the one that fits your job
Shopping for a video conferencing tool? (Or just curious about what to look for?) Grab the free checklist to help you choose the right one for your team or business.
Good background, bad background
First, let’s look at two distinct images to get a sense of what a difference the right environment can make:
1. This person has a messy backdrop behind them. They are dressed nicely, but they are surrounded by disorder:
2. This person is dressed casually, but their space is nicely laid out. It’s organized, clean, and set up for work:
What do your aesthetic choices say about you as a person? And what cues are you picking up about the person on the other end of your video conference call?
No matter what, your background is saying something about you. It’s worth taking a moment to look at what you want to say and the impression you want to make with the backdrops you feature during video meetings.
4 examples of video meeting backgrounds for different roles
Here are a few examples of different backgrounds that people in particular roles might want to use while they’re on video calls:
- If you’re a project manager who prides yourself on getting stuff done efficiently and hitting all your deadlines, focus on showing how organized you are by how your space is arranged:
That being said, you want to avoid a background that looks too minimalistic or sterile. You can have stuff—it just has to be in order and neat.
- If you own a design consultancy, your clients and prospects are probably going to judge your work and style by your video call’s background. Think of it like a physical storefront—a chance to demonstrate your style and your qualifications:
- If you’re an author, your background could be a bookshelf filled with books behind you (they could be either books you’ve written or books that have inspired you):
- If you’re a visual artist, you could show a workspace filled with the tools of your craft; a blank canvas sends one message, finished artworks send another:
Blank video backdrops aren’t the only professional-looking option anymore
If you have a lot of video calls on a daily basis, it’s important to take the time to curate or design your background before getting on a video call.
Get creative! It’s what someone will be staring at (other than your face) every time they talk to you, so use it as an opportunity to add personal elements to your professional scene. Whether you’re in a rented office space, a studio, or video conferencing from your home, it’s your space, after all.
If you’re starting to have video conference calls more regularly, take RingCentral Video for a test drive!
Here’s a look at how it works: