How to Prepare for Skype Meetings

When you work at home, you still likely need to have meetings with clients, employees, and others.  However, the format of the meeting changes; rather than meeting in an office or a conference room, you may be meeting virtually, from your home, over Skype.

If you’re preparing for a Skype meeting, there are several things you can do to convey a professional image. 

Have a Professional Username and Picture

Your Skype username and picture is the first thing the person who is meeting with you will see.  That is a first impression you’ll never get back, so make sure you have a professional username and headshot.  If your username is, for instance, groovymom73, you might want to change it to something more professional.

Face Your Desk So You’re Sitting Against a Clean Wall or Window 

You want to have a background that is not distracting so that the person you’re Skyping with can focus on you.  I’ve had a few Skype meetings where I’m looking into the person’s living room, which is extremely distracting, especially if there are young children in the background.

Make Sure the Room is Quiet

If you’re family is home, make sure that the room you’ll be in is quiet and that the children will not interrupt the interview.  Do you remember the BBC interview a few years ago where the interviewee was in his home office and was interrupted by his young child and then his harried wife frantically trying to retrieve the child?  That is not what you want to happen.

Have a Clean Desk

Ideally, your desk should be neat and tidy.  You don’t want to be perceived as disorganized, which you likely will if your desk is covered with paper and clutter. 

Dress Professionally

Even though you work from home and can dress however you like most days (one of the many benefits of working from home), when you’re doing an interview, you should dress professionally or business casual when conducting a Skype interview.

Look at the Camera

When most people are on Skype, they automatically look at themselves in the little box in the corner of the screen.  However, when you do this, you’re not maintaining eye contact with the person on the other side of the screen.  While there is a draw to look at yourself, look directly at the camera so you can focus on the person you’re speaking with.

Adjust Your Screen

Depending on how high your desk is, you may need to adjust your camera angle so that the person you’re speaking with is not seeing you at an awkward angle.  Perhaps do a test run with a friend or spouse before the call so you can make sure you place your screen correctly.

Clean Your Lens

Clean your camera lens so you project a crisp image, not a blurry or smudged one.  Although this is a minor detail, it does affect how professional you look.

Successfully having a meeting via Skype can be achieved quite easily if you follow these steps. 

What other suggestions would you add to have a professional Skype meeting?

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