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Home Office Backgrounds

I have read your recent article on home office setup: https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/home-office-from-scratch-how-to-build-your-work-post-for-a-professional-appearance-on-the-internet/ and the technician, entrepreneur, and manager mindsets seems like an interesting perspective. You also mentioned the "non-artificial background", which I believe in.

My question is here: My job role has involves a lot of video conferencing with external parties - clients, partners, and vendors, and I build my personal brand on being personable and sincere. Between a plain white wall background, or something like a bookshelf with some personal items, which would be more preferred? What will my choice say about my "mindset"?


Your choice of background would reveal whether you go for substance or for style.

Entrepreneurs go for substance, while a wanna-be always goes for style.

Here comes the substance of video conferences:

80% of the perception of a person in a video conference is caused by only 20% of the effort that you put in.

The first thing to improve is being punctual. Many are not.

Second, improve your audio: use a lapel microphone, a headset for pilots, or a good external microphone on a boom that stands on the floor next to your desk. Don´t use the internal microphone of your laptop or a com.

Third: remove noise sources and echo. That one is really hard. A full bookshelf in the background will remove a lot of echo, and it looks professional at the same time.

Fourth: use an external webcam that is on eye level. Don´t use the internal camera of your laptop.

Fifth, provide a decent lightning system. One lamp shining right into your face. One lamp shining on the right cheek and one lamp shining on the left cheek. One strong overhead lamp shining from onto your head and shoulders.  Adjust the brightnesses of the four lamps according to your taste. Make sure that the lamps do not produce reflections in your glasses, if you wear glasses.

Sixth: use a Zoom Suit. Any Zoom Suit will work.

Seventh: use face powder.

All other details are not important unless you record professional videos.

Now check again: where do you find the background in the list above? Yes, it is (only) a by-product.