A woman in a Facebook group that I am in recently sent out an SOS.
“Help! Does anyone know how to edit backgrounds in photos? I was just asked for a professional headshot and don’t have time to actually do one.”
She attached a picture of herself that was taken in a car, and people in the group generously did a quick edit or recommended a professional to change the background.
I didn’t think much about it until I read further in the post that she was using this picture to publicize her speaking engagement.
Suffice it to say, this picture did not rise to the level of a professional headshot, never mind one for a speaker.
5 Speaker Headshot Tips
- If you want to be taken seriously as a speaker and/ or an expert in your field, invest in a headshot that is taken by a professional.
- If you can’t afford to pay someone, and you have a good camera on your mobile phone, find your Portrait setting and get someone to take a picture. (Do NOT take a selfie unless that is your brand. For most people, it isn’t.)
- Light your face. In the picture of the woman (from the facebook post), her face was in shadow and her hair was receiving all of the light. An inexpensive ring light can be purchased for $20- $40 and it will make all of the difference.
- Wear a bold solid-colored shirt/ blouse. No patterns. Add a blazer/ jacket if that’s your brand. (Same goes for a tie.)
- Find a good background. This can be a brick wall — if that works for your brand. Or it can be a solid-colored curtain. I personally like black because I think you “pop” off of black more than a white, grey or light blue background.
My last piece of advice, don’t wait until you need a headshot to invest in one. You never know when you’ll be in the market for a new job. And if you have aspirations of being a speaker, make sure that you have a professional headshot ready to go.
Now that most speaking engagements have gone virtual, speakers have had to improve their on-camera communication skills. If you would like more information about on-camera coaching for speaking engagements, click the Get In Touch button.