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Virtual Video Meeting Tip: BACKGROUND

In a virtual video event, the BACKGROUND is the second thing we see when entering one of these meetings.

The first thing we look at is faces. We want to see who else is attending. Assuming the person isn’t wearing a shirt with a wild pattern or a crazy hat, the next thing to catch our eyes is the BACKGROUND of the individual.

The best reaction to a BACKGROUND should be – Nothing!

It should be a non-issue. It needs to be this way because one of the facts of presenting is:

Non-verbal Communication surpasses Verbal Communication.

We believe what we see.

We want others looking at our faces and not being distracted by our surroundings.

We cannot multi-task!

If someone is looking at the background of your video image, they are not looking at you. They will fail to see your facial expressions and miss much of what you are saying.

Here is the best example I can give to verify this: If you’ve ever watched cable news: CNN, FOX, MSNBC or others you’ve often seen a ‘ticker tape’ news update rolling across the bottom of the screen. If you are reading that message you have no idea what the moderator / news person is talking about. As proof, when a commercial comes on, the ticker tape is gone! Advertisers would never pay for commercials not being watched, listened to, and understood.

Make the background for your virtual video meeting:

  1. Clean and Simple!

  2. Think Zen-like!

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. We put our video meeting display into “Gallery View” and survey others at the event. We’ve seen:

  1. Dirty clothes, plates and silverware left for all to see.

  2. Inappropriate pictures, books, and other items displayed.

  3. Open windows with the sun so bright the person’s face was hard to see.

  4. Ceiling fans and lamps growing out of the top of people’s heads.

  5. All the above distract the audience and compromise the event.


  1. Have a clean, simple background.

  2. Eliminate clutter.

  3. Remove pictures, plaques, trophies and other items that might pique the interest of the audience and divert them from looking at you.

  4. Preview how you and your background look before joining a video meeting.

  5. If you attend many virtual video events, consider getting a green screen, great lighting, and using nondescript virtual backgrounds.


In this post, as in all my articles, videos, and talks I am presenting ideas and techniques that work well for me, and many who follow my advice.

There are others who teach the same skills I do and do it differently. Some do it way differently and it works well for them and people they instruct.

My suggestion is: “Be a sponge.” Absorb everything. Squeeze out what you don’t need. Do it your own way!

Follow these suggestions for your backgrounds when attending virtual video events and I guarantee they will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!


Three ways to keep the attention of your audience.

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver Fantastic Presentations! with – NO SWEAT!



  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  3. We are All Self-Employed!

Subscribe to my YouTube ChannelPodcast Channel, and connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook.

My books can be purchased on NO SWEAT Public Speaking” NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

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