Gia Goodrich knows how to help you look better on Zoom.

The award winning photographer and YouTube Vlogger was a panelist at the Women in Business Summit presented by Baylor Scott & White Health and offered tips to make this happen. .

“I’m super passionate about helping people feel super confident and comfortable with themselves, and emanate that authentic energy,” she says.

Whether it is a big meeting with your boss later this week or your virtual happy hour with your friends tomorrow night, Gia says these three things will help you look better on Zoom and feel your best:

Quality of Light

The first thing that you can do to look better in video is think about your lighting. And remember, when we are talking about light here, we’re talking specifically about the key light which is to be thought of as your primary source of light in photo and video.

Without it, you  run the risk of poor visuals taking away from what you are trying to say.

“Think about it as your webcam squinting to see something,” Goodrich says. “This will lead to a view that becomes unfocused and textured, plus the camera won’t be able to follow you as well.”

When thinking about the lighting for your next video call, remember SAIL. The acronym stands for: soft, angled from above, in front, and large. “When you have all four of those characteristics you will really get beautiful light that works every time.”

For more on lighting quality including examples and common mistakes, cue the video above to the 9:37 mark

The Right Camera Angle

While lighting will certainly help keep the focus on you. the next way to look better on Zoom is to make sure you have the right camera angle.

“Even the subtle rocking back and forth creates a difference in where the camera lense is,” Goodrich says. “It can cause distortion and can make you look crazy!”

So what should your setup look like? Goodrich says you should start with how your laptop is positioned.

For many, the laptop is usually positioned low  with the screen and camera angled backward. But this won’t give you the optimal angle you’re looking for. Instead, lift your computer to where the camera is matching your eyeline and titled down to emphasize your eyes and face.

“Remember what is further from the camera will seem smaller and what is closer to the camera will seem bigger,” she says.

Using Your Charisma

Getting the angles and lighting right will help you look your best, now make sure you are presenting the best version of you when you walk into that virtual meeting room.

“Charisma isn’t something you are born with, something that just some people have, or ‘on’ all the time,” Goodrich says. “It is like a muscle and like any muscle it can be weaker or stronger, and grown over time.”

One of the resources that helped  Goodrich find the persona she brings to screen is the book “The Charisma Myth” by Olivia Fox Cabane. Inside,  Cabane characterizes charisma as a combination of power, presence, and warmth.

However, it’s not those traits that are important; it is how you mix them together – something that may need to be dialed up or down depending on the circumstances.

“If you’re negotiating, you might lean more into power and presence,” Goodrich explains. “If you are talking with a circle of people who are vulnerable, you might lean into warmth. It is figuring out what that charisma mix means to you.”

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