Are You Making These 3 Wicked Awful Webcam Mistakes?

Close-up of a smiling woman staring at the cameraThe web offers so many opportunities to connect with colleagues, clients, strategic partners and even your next boss! More and more you’re “meeting” people face to face via your webcamera.

Skype, Google Hangouts, Ustream and video webinars let you connect, sell, interview and teach no matter where you’re located.

But, with technology comes great responsibility! Next time you sit in front of your adoring public, follow these simple DOs so you DON’T make wicked webcam mistakes.


There’s no sniveling in business and definitely no swiveling! This is a must whether you are on camera or in person. 99.9% of the population of the world will swivel if seated in a swivel chair. It is comforting to rock yourself from side to side. It’s an unconscious reflex but on camera it’s deadly. How sinister is a little swiv?

  • You may cause motion sickness for your viewer!
  • You’re drawing your viewer’s attention to your movement and away from your message! Distraction disaster. Unless you’re a mime, avoid this.
  • You look nervous and unsure (even if you aren’t.)

2. Eliminate Background Noise

Get rid of the background noise so they can hear you and focus on the brilliance you’re unleashing! Be aware of what is appearing behind you when you’re on camera. Is it…

  • Your messy bookcase?
  • 1,000 sticky notes with your To-Dos scribbled on them?
  • Your cat Lucky, “grooming” those hard to reach places?

I’ve actually seen these things and worse. But YOU can save yourself from these background blunders. Turn down the noise by turning on your webcam and focusing on what you see behind you. Check before you invite a world of important people in for a chat.

3. Frame it up

Once you check out what’s behind you, look at what’s directly in front of your viewers. Here are some camera angle DOs!

  • Get out of my FACE! Being too close to the camera will fill your viewers’ screens with an EXTREME close up of your face. This is actually an aggressive camera angle. Your viewers will feel like you’re invading their personal space. It’s like someone leans across a table to tell you off or give you a big smooch. UNcomfortable.
  • Beware your chinnie, chin, chin! If you’ve got your camera lower than eye level your audience is looking up at you. This can make you look like you have 3 chins. Unless you’re a Shar-pei, I bet you don’t. (If you are an email-reading Shar-pei please contact me immediately!)
  • Avoid being nosey! The other mistake is setting your camera level too high above eye level. For gals that could mean a cleavage shot. Even if that’s not an issue, your viewers will be looking right up your ‘ole double barrels – err, nostrils. Really, TMN (Too much nose).

Your webcam is your way to reach the WORLD from your office. Remember, even though you’re staring into a tiny dot there are real people on the other side of it! You wanna bring your very best to the stage no matter how big or small.

Put it into action:

This week, set up a superquick webcam meeting with a friend or colleague. Have your partner point out any wicked awful webcam mistakes you might be perpetrating. Like Oprah says, once you know better, you’ll do better.

About the author

WXW Board Member Lori Nash Byron is the founder of Famous in Your Field, a consulting and training company for professionals and entrepreneurs, who want to build a powerful brand and position themselves as experts in their industries through speaking, publishing and publicity. Visit

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