After two or more years of remote work, most of us have accumulated some Zoom-meeting horror stories, from kids shouting during your important meeting or giving half a presentation only to discover you’ve been on mute the whole time. But by now, most of us have become masters in the art of virtual meetings.
So, when someone comes on a Zoom meeting looking like a mess, people are a lot less forgiving about it than they were in March of 2020. To help you command respect from the moment you log on, we’ve compiled our best secrets to looking Zoom-ready as a professional Black woman.
Pay Attention to Lightning
Lightning is half the battle when it comes to looking professional on a Zoom call. Even if your hair and makeup are immaculate and your outfit is perfect, no one will be able to tell if they can hardly see you. Avoid working in a room that’s too dark or placing the room’s only light source right behind you during the call.
You could invest in fancy lighting, including a YouTube-tier ring light. But the best way to be Zoom-ready at a moment’s notice is to simply set up your computer so that you’re facing an open window. The natural light will illuminate your face and mimic a professional lighting setup.
Get Your Zoom Fashion on Lock
It’s easy to let professional attire go out the window when you’re working from home. But when you’re chatting with a client, having a put-together ensemble will communicate confidence and show them that you put a lot of thought into the meeting.
But just because an outfit is fashionable in person doesn’t mean the look translates on your webcam. Here are a few principles for looking professional during your Zoom meeting as far as your ensemble goes:
- Wear a professional top such as a blouse or sweater
- Opt for more form-fitting outfits
- Avoid distracting fabric patterns
- Consider wearing a color darker than your background
- Add an accessory like earrings or a necklace
Last-minute, unplanned meetings happen. If you don’t want to end up suddenly talking to a difficult client while wearing an outfit that isn’t your formal best, you can always keep a blazer nearby to throw on over whatever you’re wearing.
Have Your Go-To Hairstyles
We have made much progress toward having natural hairstyles become accepted as professional hairstyles. As such, there are plenty of natural looks that also look great on Zoom calls. Next time you have a lot of meetings planned for the day, consider trying out one of these dos:
- Updo with a scarf
- Ponytail puff or pineapple
- Wash and go
Wigs are also a great hair solution for Black women because they’re easy to put on at a moment’s notice. Instant Arewa Hair has everything from butterfly locs to knotless braided wigs for the Black professionals who are ready to take on the world.