What’s Behind You? Remote working and putting yourself in focus

Nicola Hill is a veteran of broadcast journalism, contributing to our ongoing project on remote working; she is a regular contributor to The Telegraph, as well as medical publication The Hippocratic Post. She is the founder of NC Media a consultancy media firm, currently running training courses. 

With more and more of us communicating virtually, it is really important to ensure you have a professional-looking background behind you. Whilst wedding pictures, baby photos, or your large gin collection displayed over your right shoulder may be amusing to your colleagues, interviewer or viewers, it can detract from what you are saying.

You don’t want a completely blank wall, but equally, you want to ensure there are no distractions. Unobtrusive art, a few books or any props that represent who you are as a professional can help your visual image.

As a broadcast journalist I used to work with my camera crews to dress the set; to create a visual environment that gave clues about my interviewee and the story I was covering. Now I pass on these skills in my Virtual Media and Communication training courses.

Also, remember to position the laptop or webcam at a flattering angle: I usually put mine on top of two coffee table style cookery books to ensure the camera is parallel or slightly above eye level- I don’t want the interviewer or colleague looking up my nose! And ladies, don’t wear low cut tops that expose your cleavage if you lean forward to adjust the screen.

Communicating in a virtual environment is different, but looks likely to remain a reality for some time. So before you appear in front of your computer’s camera, check what is behind you and how you look.


Twitter – @ncmediatv

Linked In – https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicola-hill-08803835/