The Secret to Finding your Zen in Zoom
Remember when once upon a time, you’d show up for an in-person meeting feeling fabulous? Maybe you had a presentation to do, and you hit it out of the park. After your diligent preparation, your success would ultimately rely on psychology and mindset. To help get you in your ‘zone,’ maybe you’d show up wearing your favorite shirt or shoes. Perhaps you’d arrive at the room early to center yourself and visualize the next hour. Or whatever to get your game face on.
But now, all of that has clearly changed. The good news is Zoom and other video conferencing apps have done some heaving lifting filling in the resulting gaps.
Sure, Zoom has been remarkable at keeping us together, but it can’t entirely replace the in-person experience you may be craving.
(Who knows when any of us will physically walk into a conference room again with other people.)
And as amazing as Zoom has been for many of us, perhaps you’ve been unable to get yourself entirely comfortable with Zoom.
Why is that?
Virtual Backgrounds to the Rescue?
It might be because you’re secretly a little frustrated with how your image has appeared on your recent Zoom calls. I’m certainly not thrilled with how I’ve been showing up.
Sure, I’ve worked hard to improve my lighting in my home office by taking advantage of a nearby window and adding in an Elgato Key Light Air light for soft fill on my face.
I’ve also tidied up my background to help ensure there’s nothing too distracting. I want people to pay attention to me, not my mug collection on the shelf behind my head!
But try as I may, I must accept that my home office background isn’t designed for prime time.
So, in moments of frustration, I’ve sometimes activated Zoom’s ‘Virtual Background’ mode to try to quickly solve the problem.
Assuming your computer or smartphone has the horsepower to switch in a virtual background, the result may seem like a neat parlor trick. However, you’ve got to admit it’s a little hokey using someone else’s picturesque background.
Maybe this isn’t actually a problem for most folks living on Zoom these days. Perhaps their backgrounds are the least of their concerns during the altered reality of COVID-19.
And I must concede this excellent point. Our priorities should probably focus elsewhere.
If you do have some extra bandwidth to improve your Zoom shot, I’ve got an insight to share about your background that could be a gamechanger.
It’s worked great for me!
Choose an Authentic Virtual Background
As much as I just dissed using virtual backgrounds, I feel they’re actually vitally important to solving the challenge of your Zoom shot from home. But your virtual background can’t be some vacation destination or cartoon image like the Minecraft universe.
That just screams…. VIRTUAL BACKGROUND!
Your background should represent your own reality. And that means some part of your home that you’d enjoy sharing with others. And it’s not important exactly where it is. It matters how that background makes you feel.
Forget all preconceptions about some perfect home-office setting that you don’t have. Instead think about your favorite part of your pad… that’s the place you want behind you!
Bring your Happy Space to your Next Zoom Meeting
But that space may or may not be available to you for your next Zoom meeting. (Others may already be occupying it!) That’s why it’s time to make it your virtual happy space!
Simply take a picture of this favorite spot at home and then use it as your virtual background.
It’s authentic; it’s real; it represents a part of you!
This is my home office via Zoom.
And this is my virtual happy space in Zoom courtesy of our living room.
You’re in your Zoom Zone!
Now, when you show up for your next Zoom meeting, you should feel awesome being exactly where you want to be (at least virtually).
Of course, it’s ironic that your fabulous virtual background will likely fade into the background for your viewers, but that’s exactly what you want.
Because, then you can focus forward on what matters most… Forming a real connection with your Zoom participants.
So go find your Zoom Zen!