Are you someone who always turns on your video camera for meetings and wants a real background – versus a virtual or blurred background – but not sure where to start? Creating a professional background does not have to be time-consuming or costly. Here are five things to consider when creating a professional background.

  1. Location.

Find or create a designated space for taking virtual calls. By designating a space for virtual calls, you will not be scrambling before your next call trying to find a good background forcing you to use a virtual background. Instead, find a location that is not busy. You do not want people constantly walking by as that would be a distraction to you and to the other people on the call.

  1. Be Creative.

Be creative and intentional when deciding what you want in your background. Your background says a lot about you! This is an opportunity to promote your personal brand. Some examples of things to add to your background would be a books, awards, plants, paintings and photographs. Anything that subtly highlights who you are and what you like to do.

  1. Blank Wall.

If you do not have a clean area or easy way to be creative, one simple solution would be to sit against a blank wall. You do not want to overwhelm people on your calls by having a lot going on in your background. If possible, neutral wall colors would be best. Neutral colors are calming, sophisticated, and modern.

  1. Furniture.

Do not overlook the small things. People will notice the furniture you are sitting on. People will notice if your chair is falling apart. They will also notice if you are swiveling or rocking in your chair. If you know you like to move around a lot, it may be best to choose an office chair that does not move.

  1. Lighting.

If possible, natural light is better than artificial light. Natural light increases productivity, mood, and motivation. Natural light makes your skin and your background look brighter and clearer. If natural light is not an option, find a location that has a lot of good artificial lighting. This is important as you want people on your virtual calls to be able to see you. You will want to avoid sitting in a dark room or being backlit at all costs.

Your background on virtual calls is an opportunity for others to get to know you more. Do not waste your time by using distracting virtual backgrounds. Instead, show your true, professional self by following these five easy components of real backgrounds.

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