by Dave Archer
For a variety of reasons, many of us will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, here are some New Year’s resolutions to consider for 2021.
STAY IN TOUCH
I’ve always been impressed by the number of networking opportunities offered in Northern Nevada. While many of these networking events are on hold for a while, we still have numerous ways to stay in touch with friends and colleagues.
For the New Year, set a goal to contact a certain number of people every week – or even every day. These can be formers co-workers, fellow members of the various organizations to which you belong, or friends with whom you’ve fallen out of touch.
- Phone or Zoom call: In the same way we used to meet for coffee BC (Before COVID…) we can now set up a Zoom call with one or more friends or colleagues. You don’t need an agenda – it’s just an opportunity to stay in touch or reconnect.
- Handwritten Notes: Send a handwritten note to someone, telling them you’re thinking of them or letting them know you’d like to visit by phone or Zoom.
- Participate in virtual networking events: Several Northern Nevada organizations are holding online networking events, either as part of their webinar presentations or as standalone events. NCET, for example, offers 30 minutes of networking before each of our weekly online events.
- Send someone a private message on LinkedIn or Facebook and strike up a conversation.
- Post a photo of a friend or colleague, or a group of friends and colleagues, and tag them. You’ll be surprised at how many comments and responses you get.
UP YOUR ZOOM GAME
I’m sure you put a lot of thought and money into your professional headshot and you can do the same for your Zoom appearance. Here are some tips to have your Zoom appearance look as great as your headshot.
Camera: Invest in a HD (High Def) webcam so that you appear crystal clear to your Zoomates. Install your camera at or slightly above your eye-level, which is usually at the top of your monitor. If you’re using a laptop, use a small lightweight tripod to raise the camera to the proper level. You can find a wide range of excellent webcams for $50 to $100 dollars.
Microphone: To sound as great as you look, get a separate web microphone. These cost about $20 to $50. (Most webcams come with built-in mics, but the quality – and location – often aren’t ideal.)
Lighting: Your light(s) should be in front of you. Period. The worst thing you can do is have a bright light such as a window or a light fixture behind you as you’ll appear as a silhouette. One option is to place two table lamps, one slightly brighter than the other, on either side of your computer monitor(s). Another option is to buy a special webcam light which is placed next to or around your webcam. These cost less than $25.
Backgrounds: Avoid distracting or brightly lit backgrounds. Unless you’re using a green screen background, resist the urge to use “virtual backgrounds” of your favorite vacation spot. Otherwise, random bits of your head and body will appear and disappear as you move around.
Once you’re all set, set up a Zoom call with a friend or colleague and ask them to critique how you look and sound.
Best wishes for a great 2021 and I look forward to staying in touch with you in the New Year!
Dave Archer is President/CEO of NCET, a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore businesses and technology. www.NCET.org