Whether you’re working with a team of remote workers or sitting at home amidst a global pandemic, it’s no doubt that work-from-home has fast become an essential element of the contemporary workplace. As a result, online presentation tools like Zoom have exploded in popularity and usage when it comes to connecting with your team via virtual meetings.
Although Zoom is an easy-to-use platform, many features under the hood can help increase the engagement levels of your audience. One of these priced features is the ability to add a picture to your Zoom screen, also known as an overlay.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what Zoom overlays are, explore their benefits, and suggest some overlay graphics that you can try out today!
What is a Zoom meeting overlay (and do I need one)?
A Zoom overlay is a versatile tool that allows you to add anything from images to shapes to pre-recorded videos to your Zoom meeting.
Think of it as an Instagram filter or custom background of your choice—but instead of adjusting the image saturation or adding bunny ears, you can add meaningful visual attributes to capture your audience’s attention and reinforce your message.
The benefits of Zoom overlays
Conceal your background
Let’s face it, sometimes our home offices don't look quite as professional as we’d like—and that’s okay! However, a disorganized space, a mountain of clothes, and piles of paper sitting behind your screen don’t tend to scream professionalism or give a positive impression to your audience.
Luckily, you can add a custom background so that your audience isn’t distracted from what’s naturally behind you. Similar to adding the popular “background blur” feature to your video, adding a Zoom overlay helps you to convey your message effectively—without your coworkers and clients getting distracted by your surroundings! What’s more, a well-chosen background conveys a level of professionalism in your communication by showing that you care about the audience, the call you’re participating in, and your work in general.
Bolster visual presence
With Zoom overlays, you aren’t restricted to a plain, bland background. You have the freedom to make your background a colored pattern that’s associated with your brand or include relevant brand power words, logos, product images, taglines, or a combination of these. Your overlay can be fun, whimsical, serious, or promotional—the only limit is your imagination!
You can make small tweaks to your overlays that can help take your presentations to the next level. For instance, you can play around with the lighting and reduce the distracting halo effect. You can change the brightness of your panel and the amount of skin smoothing to put your best video frame forward.
Having a better visual presence can help you show off your unique, online personality and feel confident as you present. As a result, you’ll be able to connect with your audience much better, which brings us to the next point:
Build a better brand
Studies show that communication is 93% non-verbal. This means that your prospective clients will have formed an impression about your brand before a single word is uttered in a virtual meeting.
Utilizing a Zoom overlay can convey a sense of professionalism, communicate what your brand is about, and offer implicit assurance that you can offer a high-quality service—all without saying a single word.
With this in mind, your presented screen needs to look sharp, and be prominently positioned in such a manner that it’s the speaker who receives priority. It could be as simple as your brand colors or logo in a step-and-repeat pattern. Integrating the right Zoom overlay will help to facilitate a stronger brand image for your customers and will subconsciously persuade them that you’re of high value.
Types of Zoom overlays
Eye contact is very important when it comes to presenting a meeting—even when it’s done virtually.
Maintaining eye contact builds a connection with your audience, creating a more personal interaction. Unfortunately, when it comes to virtual meetings, presenters often make the mistake of looking at the screen instead of the camera or looking at the video thumbnail assuming—incorrectly—that they’re speaking directly to the audience.
This can cause a barrier to communication.
Presenters even go as far as sticking Post-it notes on their desktops or putting a Word document under the camera. Not only do they end up simply reading off a document, but the presenter-audience interaction becomes artificial which can undermine the effectiveness of the message conveyed.
Using a teleprompter like VODIUM can help you eliminate those problems for good. Sitting just beneath your camera, the VODIUM app overlays on Zoom, subtly displaying or scrolling through your notes, allowing you to maintain eye contact with your audience and read your meeting notes, simultaneously. You’ll have the flexibility to adjust the transparency so you can see the audience, and to control the speed of scrolling so you’re presenting at an optimal pace.
A popular Zoom overlay is a custom background of your choice. You can browse through a curated list of over 2 million Zoom backgrounds ranging from plain backgrounds to gradient backgrounds to designs from many themes.
Not satisfied with the ones available? No problem! You can always search for what you’re looking for in Zoom’s marketplace or image sites like Unsplash where you could pay for premium images. Then, simply follow Zoom’s step-by-step instructions for changing your virtual background image.
Zoom overlays don’t just stop with static images, you can add dynamic images—colloquially known as filters—too! You can find a plethora of meeting-friendly filters in the Zoom application itself, or using third-party software.
For instance, according to Zoom, you can add filters that can smooth out the skin tone on your face, to present a more polished-looking appearance. This can help you rock your work-from-home aesthetic, while still looking nice enough to tune into a business meeting.
Top zoom overlay graphics to try out in your need meeting
Now that you’ve gotten a sense of what Zoom overlays can add to your virtual meeting, let’s take a look at 3 simple graphics you can implement into your Zoom call today.
If you’re working from home and want to show a clean, aesthetic, workspace, then this minimalistic, modern office background is a great choice.
You can take it one step further by combining other features to give that classy feel. For instance, add your company logo, brand name, and tagline on top of the image to add a touch of personalization to the clean background.
Have a passion for travel, nature, or photography? Why not showcase a view from your latest trip or photo shoot, while simultaneously having a calming effect on your audience?
When your audience can 'unplug' themselves during the presentation and immerse themselves in nature, even if it’s just a photograph, this is proven to help them to destress, clear their mind, and increase positivity. This can make it easier for your audience to be able to focus on your presentation, ask questions, or even close a deal.
Backgrounds don’t have to be complex, inundated with colors, and sophisticated animations. A simple Zoom overlay like the one above gets the job done—it’s minimalistic and the plain colors create enough contrast between the presenter and the background that the audience isn’t too distracted during the presentation.
How to change your background
To change your Zoom background:
- Click the gear icon in the top right-hand corner to navigate to Settings.
- In the left menu, click Virtual Background.
- Select one of Zoom's default background images or click the + icon to upload your own photo.
- During a Zoom meeting, click the ^ arrow next to Stop Video and click Choose Virtual Background to change or turn off your Zoom background.
VODIUM: The perfect partner for your Zoom overlays
Zoom overlays are more than a fun way to personalize your virtual background—this simple tool has the power to enhance your meetings and help you convey your message to your leads as effectively as possible.
With the right tool, you no longer have to worry about not maintaining eye contact or missing out on important points. Harnessing the power of a teleprompter app such as VODIUM helps take the stress out of presenting on Zoom, empowering you to be an effective remote communicator.