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Dressing for a Mobile Meeting

January 29, 2015 - Written By Chris Yackulic

While using online video conferencing services like Blue Jeans mobile conferencing, you might be tempted to show up to your web conference in pajamas, workout clothes, or other comfy attire. But don’t be fooled by the convenient nature of video conferencing-you still need to look professional. Dressing appropriately for meetings, whether they be business or education oriented, affects both your authority as a speaker and how overall presentation as you are more likely to polish up your posture, mannerism, and tone when looking the part of a professional. Your wardrobe choices can also impact how easy or difficult it is for other meeting participants to focus on your while you are speaking.

Professional Pieces
It is essential, whether attending an in-person meeting or a web conference, to dress professionally. In the case of a mobile meeting, typically held on a laptop computer or mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet that is equipped with a small, built-in camera, you are most likely only to be seen from the waist up. To be more precise, with a small mobile camera, participants will likely only see you from your collarbone up. This puts emphasis on choosing the right top portion of your outfit. You can probably get away with wearing casual slacks or Blue Jeans for the bottom half of your outfit-especially if your office has a business casual dress code.


Necklines for Women
Corporate Fashionista explains, that women must pay particular attention to the neckline of their dress, shirt, or blouse of choice. The right neckline can give a woman a presence of authority and professionalism, while the wrong neckline can shift focus away from what she has to say. Especially in the case of mobile meetings on small cameras, either a mandarin color with a moderate v-neck, or a narrow, high, rounded collar are most appropriate. Mandarin collars are lower, stiffer, and flatter than standard collars and they do not typically have buttons. Buttons near your face can reflect light and produce glare that will take viewers’ attention away from your face. This style of color forms a gentle frame for your face, helping to keep your listeners’ attention on you as you speak. Rounded colors can also provide a nice frame, but they must not be too wide, nor too low, as it is important that your top can be seen in the camera’s viewing range.


Color Choices
Color choices are important when selecting the right attire for a web meeting. The camera and lighting can have weird effects on colors. For example, red is generally considered a “power color” in business, connoting authority and strength, but on camera the color can be distracting and should be avoided. White is also not a good choice as it can appear harsh and glary. President Kennedy started the trend of wearing light blue when speaking on camera as it gave him a softer look that came across as more appealing; the tradition persists through the decades. Dark colors, other than red, are also good as they can help to draw focus to your face, explains Mr. Media Training. Choose a color for your outfit that will not be distracting or clash with the background of your web conference.


Pattern Problems
Patterns in clothing are problematic when hosting a web conference. Especially during a mobile meeting, during where there may be a few outside distractions, it is important that your outfit frames your frames and draws attention to your face. Mr. Media Training explains that patterns can distract viewers and take attention away from the speaker. Patterned clothes also have a high chance of clashing with your background. Try to stick with a solid top or an unobtrusive pattern-like a subtle pinstripe in a suit jacket.


Accessories
When choosing accessories to wear during a web conference, go with the less is more approach. Women should especially avoid dangling earrings and bracelets as they can clank on an ear piece or microphone and cause distracting noises. Overly shiny and reflective jewelry and hairpieces should also be avoided as they may cause glare in the camera. If you choose to wear jewelry during a web conference, make sure it is of a type that does not move around and will help to frame and draw attention to your face rather than distract other participants.
About.com notes that clothing choices make an impact on how you are perceived and that when video conferencing, a business casual look is a good option because it makes you look professional without being too stuffy. When choosing an outfit for a web conference, be mindful of how much of your person the participants will see. Choose clothing that appears professional and draws attention to your face. When possible, know the setting of your meeting and be sure that you choose clothing colors that will not clash with your background. Avoid patterns and accessories that may distract participants from the message you want to convey. Just because you are not meeting in-person, does not mean that you do not have to appear polished-your clothes should suit your industry, the formality of your meeting, and the amount of authority you want to convey. Think of your clothes as a tool to enhance the success of your video meeting.