Ask Hermie

Ask Hermie: How to Avoid Zoom Doom?

Hermie is the consummate AV Professional, having lurked behind the scenes at Herman Pro AV and Herman Integration Services for years. When it comes to the professional audiovisual business, Hermie walks the walk and talks the talk. In fact, he doesn’t just talk about AV stuff until he’s blue in the face, he’s done it so much he’s blue all over! So, if you have a burning AV question, just “Ask Hermie!”


Dear Hermie,

During COVID- 19, I started taking more and more video calls. I noticed a lot of giggles when I joined the calls. I think I’m a good-lookin fella and I want to make a good impression. What am I doing wrong?
– Impressive in Idaho

Dear Impressive,

When Hermie comes into any room, even a Zoom Room, all eyes are on me –possibly because I am BLUE. Like you, I think making a good impression is important. There are lots of things you want to consider to avoid turning your Zoom into doom. As AV pros, you and I both know that lighting is important, and the best way to take advantage of natural light in your home office is to sit facing a window. Only sit with a bright window behind you if you want your Zoommates to think you’re in the Witness Protection program.

They say that clothes make the man, that’s true when it comes to video meetings as well (at least from the waist up…) Consider your audience! Chatting it up with your buddy from the office is a lot different than speaking to a new customer on video. Being in proper attire will put you in a good frame of mind and mentally prepare you for your meeting. And while I don’t wear pants, I highly recommend you do! You never know when you might suddenly jump up to run to the restroom or answer your front door.

Don’t forget to groom before you Zoom and comb your hair! Unless you have “statement” hair like mine, you should show up to a video meeting looking like you care how you look. The old saying applies to video calls too: “If you want to be important, look important!”

Finally, Impressive, have you looked at your surroundings? Is your home office in your bedroom? If so, I will remind you what your mother used to say, “make your bed and put away your clothes.” And if proper bediquette is not your thing, at least, consider an appropriate virtual background.

If you pay attention to the tips above, I guarantee your video calls will no longer be a laughing matter! Let me know how it goes – we can do a Zoom call together!

Do you have a question for Hermie? Email and he may answer your question here in a future column.