While at this point you may be feeling triggered by even the glimmer of a webcam light, it’s time to accept that Zoom meetings are here to stay.

The world is slowly gaining more confidence in physical gatherings. However, online meetings and events are now an essential cog in both the professional and personal lexicon. 2020 may not be one of the greatest years on record for many of us, but it’s safe to say that Zoom has blitzed it, adding $47.9 billion to its market cap.

So if you’ve gotta do it – work it! Indeed, we say it’s time to own it. Australia’s longest running furniture trade show, the Australian International Furniture Fair (AIFF), is going online this year with AIFF 360, a virtual trade exhibition showcasing the latest products and a stellar virtual International Seminar Series featuring some of the biggest names in design from around the globe – Kit Kemp, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Bobby Berk, Paloma Contreras, Abigail Ahern and more.

The seminars will be an exclusive mixture of pre-recorded footage and live Q&A. Reserve your seminar pass now to gain valuable design business insights and see how the pros do it! Until then, here’s our guide to elevating your Zoom look, with some tantalising tips from Tom Ford and James Treble…

How to Look Good on Zoom (The Designer’s Guide)

Create Elevation 

New York Times writer Maureen Dowd asked Tom Ford for his advice on how to look good during Zoom interviews. He advised putting her laptop on a stack of books “so the camera is slightly higher than your head. Say about the top of your head. And then point it down into your eyes.”

Sketch of Tom Ford by Tracy Ma for the New York Times. Image: New York Times

At AIFF, one of our favourite books for stacking is Intimate by our 2020 International Seminar Series speaker David HicksPatterns and Colours by Greg Natale is also a meaty tome which is fit for purpose…and design superstar Martyn Lawrence Bullard practically has a library of delectable coffee table books at your disposal.

Elevate your look! Or if you’re one of those holier-than-thou standing desk people, that could work too.

Mood Lighting

After you’ve created your height, Ford says lighting is key. “Then take a tall lamp and set it next to the computer on the side of your face you feel is best. The lamp should be in line with and slightly behind the computer so the light falls nicely on your face. Then put a piece of white paper or a white tablecloth on the table you are sitting at but make sure it can’t be seen in the frame. It will give you a bit of fill and bounce. And lots of powder, et voilà!”

Although we’d argue Tom Ford doesn’t have a bad side. Or has a minion been carrying a tall lamp slightly to his left this entire time?

Check Your Background – Twice

The Australian interior design guru James Treble is an old hand at ‘the new normal’ (or as we like to think of it, the perceptible shift in the Zeitgeist). In addition to his extensive television work on programs like The Living Room,  Treble presents regular design tutorials and insights on his own YouTube channel.

Giving Good Zoom: James Treble

Treble says he’s shocked at how often people’s background lets them down, ruined by thoughtless detritus.

“Having a cluttered or uninspiring background is a big no no for anyone in the design industry. Zoom is not the place to air your dirty laundry!”

Consider Your Audience

Treble also says that a mistake people often make when they’re presenting on Zoom is rushing through their content. Modulate your delivery as you would in real life, neither too fast or too slow. Also give your fellow attendees feedback…nobody wants to feel like they’ve just lobbed a verbal lead balloon!

James Treble will be presenting a workshop on ‘Practical Tips for the Busy Designer’ LIVE from his Sydney studio on Wednesday 30 September from 3pm – 4pm, as part of the International Seminar Series.

Don’t miss AIFF 360, September 28 – October 2, 2020! It’s a chance to see the latest products, plus network and do business on a dynamic virtual platform. Register now – the online exhibition is free but limited to trade visitors. However, Virtual Seminar passes are available to both trade and the general public.