When you hop on a Zoom call for a media interview, you may wonder how some people look the part. There are a number of tips and tricks they use to not only look great but also nail their interviews. Since I’ve had so many personal Zoom experiences, I’ve decided to come up with a list of suggestions that can help you excel in your next Zoom call. Here they are.
Look Out for a ZOOM Room
A Zoom Room is similar to a racquetball court and can have a negative impact on your sound during a Zoom call. If possible, find a new location. Or add carpet, acoustic tiles, and other features to improve the sound. You could also wear a lapel microphone. While it may seem obvious, try to keep any pets, kids, or other sounds out as well.
Ensure Reliable Internet
If you’ve seen someone freeze on a Zoom call, they probably didn’t have the best internet connection. That’s why it’s essential you invest in a dependable internet. If you freeze during an interview, don’t be surprised if the interview gets transferred to someone else. A hard line wired connection is preferable to WiFi.
Pay Attention to Your Background
There are a number of things you can do to make your background visually appealing. You can add some plants, a poster, fresh flowers, or even a canvas of your book cover. Clean up any dust, clothes, nick nacks or other items that will distract others. Also, steer clear of the Zoom virtual backgrounds because they can lead to distortion around your body and head. You can always purchase a portable green screen.
No, you don’t have to dress to the nines. But you should wear what you normally wear to the office or one step down. So if you typically wear a suit and tie, opt for a button-up or blouse.
Jess Todtfeld, former producer and media trainer, suggests you stay away from white, black, and red. Also remove all wrinkles in clothing and distracting jewelry. Less is more so keep it simple. You want your audience to focus on what you’re saying, not what you’re wearing. After all, your face is your brand.
Be Mindful of the Lighting
A well-lit face is important. If you happen to be in a dark room, opt for a lamp with a warm glow or circle light. If possible, choose a bright room with minimal windows for your call. Too much light can force the camera lens to move when you don’t want it to. A circle light isn’t too expensive and can really help you out on gloomy days.
You should know exactly how to work ZOOM, SKYPE, and Facetime. Practice using these tools so that you’re very comfortable with them. If you don’t, you may mess up your interview on national TV because of a technical glitch.
Keep the Camera a ‘just a smidge below’ Eye
The camera should always be ‘just a smidge below’ eye level with you. Make every effort to look at the camera instead of the screen. If you let your eyes wander, others might think you’re not engaged or interested in the interview. You can always put a piece of paper by the camera lens so that you always remember to look at the camera.
Use Pen and Paper
As long as you have a pen and paper, you can write down the name of the reporter as well as any questions you might have. Don’t take notes on the computer as this can distract the interviewer. Stick to the old-fashioned way.
Download the Skype App
If you’re using Skype, use the app instead of your browser. The browser version is slow and lilley to freeze. Download the Skype app and test it out beforehand to ensure it works.
Use Wireless or Wired Earbuds
There’s nothing wrong with computer speakers. However, for optimal results, use wireless or wired earbuds. Since they enhance sound quality, they can allow you to sound your best on camera. Remember to charge your wireless earbuds before the interview.
Get a Glass of Water
When you’re nervous and talk a lot, you may experience dry mouth and throat. That’s where a glass of water comes in. It can keep your vocal cords moist and make it easier for you to talk clearly throughout your interview. You can also use sips of water as a strategy to buy you time when you need to think of an answer to a difficult question.
These tips may be just what you need to do well on your next TV interview and take your book to new heights.