Webcam Etiquette

All Stan State students, faculty, and staff have access to Zoom for attending and hosting online meetings. Often, meeting participants will be expected to use a webcam to help make the meeting more engaging. However, as in face-to-face meetings, you must pay attention to your presentation and appearance in an online meeting so as not to fall into embarrassing habits.

Some on-camera tips:

  • Lighting your face more brightly than the background makes it easier to see you.
  • Keep your head high in the picture frame.
  • Dress appropriately: you are being seen!
  • Physical movement and facial expressions matter, just as in a face-to-face context.
  • Computer mics pick up lots of ambient noise, so keep your mic muted until you're ready to speak.
  • Remember that when on-camera, other activities such as eating, drinking, flossing your teeth, and shuffling papers are extremely unflattering and distracting.

Lighting, Location, and Framing Examples

Bad: Lighting

Example of dark video with glasses glare reflections

Recording in the dark (presumably late at night) results in "ghostly" appearance. Glasses reflect screen glare; turn down laptop brightness setting.

Bad: Location

Example of cluttered background

Cluttered, unattractive background could be distracting. Good light though!

Bad: Framing


Laptop angle is also too low, resulting in "peeking" (or worse!) and unnecessary view of ceiling.


Very nice!

Good light, good framing

Good front light. Uncluttered background. Nicely framed pose.


Watch 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Webcam Etiquette

Created by San Diego State, this video presents additional information about webcam etiquette.