When teaching via video call, in addition to being a good teacher you need to make sure you look good on camera. Unfortunately, most traditional formal black and white attire does not perform well on video. If you care about how students see you on their screens, there are a few basic tips to remember when choosing your dress and setting up your space.
Make choices based on students’ age
When deciding on the appearance you will have different goals based on students’ age. If you are teaching older kids, teenagers, or adults your number one priority is to look professional to earn their trust and attention.
To earn and, more importantly, hold the attention of younger kids your formal wear will do more harm than good. You might want to check with your school’s policies, but my general advice is to do everything possible to keep kids engaged: wear colorful and bright clothes, funny hats, interesting accessories, etc.
If little kids are your audience, ignore all advice on “how to look professional” and do not be afraid to experiment.
Best colors of clothes
Avoid wearing white or black, as these colors can appear washed out or create a “halo” effect on video. Instead, try to wear colors that will contrast well with your skin tone and the background of your setting. For example, if you have a light skin tone, you may want to avoid wearing pastel colors, as they may blend in with your skin. If you have a dark skin tone, you may want to avoid wearing dark colors, as they may make it difficult for viewers to see your features.
No complex patterns
When choosing clothes to wear in front of the camera, you want to avoid patterns in your clothes that are too busy. Complex patterns, stripes, or plaids might cause unwanted video effects and simply be too distracting.
Instead, stick to solid colors that are muted or subdued.
Avoid anything shiny and reflective
Shiny and reflective objects can create a glare on the camera, distracting your students or even making it difficult for you. Shiny jewelry, glossy mugs or vases. For those with vision problems, if possible, opt for contact lenses instead of eyeglasses.
Pants or no pants?
Some people feel more comfortable and professional when they are wearing pants, while others find it more relaxed to teach in their PJs or shorts. Ultimately, it is up to the individual teacher to decide what they are most comfortable with. Try both to decide what works best for you.
If you have long hair, it is best to pull it back into a ponytail or bun. This will keep your hair out of your face, it will not cast shadows on your face or get in the way while you teach.
For short hair, it is best to style it sleek and out of your face. This will allow you to move around and gesture without your hair getting in the way.
When it comes to choosing the right makeup for teaching via video call, it is important to keep your audience in mind. If you are teaching young children, you might want to go for a more natural look.
But if you are teaching older students or adults, you can be a bit more daring with your makeup. A bold mascara or a bright lip color can help you stand out on camera and keep your students engaged. Just remember to keep it professional and appropriate for your audience.