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From what to wear, to choosing a background, to dealing with distractions—and everything in between—we understand that this year’s AHIMA conference is a new and challenging experience.

But we’ve got the answers to help you maximize your virtual experience. Check out our quick and easy tips to stand out for the right reasons and maximize your success at AHIMA20.

Dress for Success
COLOR: Brighter is Better (Much Better)

For maximum visibility and to stand out for the right reasons, choose bright and bold colors. While black and blue suits are traditional faves for interviews, these dark colors will blend into many virtual backgrounds. Instead, opt for bright colors like yellow, pink, peach, lavender, light blue or gold to add a vibrant splash on-screen. If you decide on a dark suit, add a bold tie for the spark you need. Or, a rhinestone, silver, or gold pendant to your suit’s lapel can add just the right amount of pop.

STYLE: Plaid is for Picnics, not Conferences

For backyard barbeques, a plaid tablecloth (or shirt) is ideal. Floral, even. But on-screen, plaid choices will prompt your immediate removal by the fashion police. Not only are these dizzying patterns distracting, they often clash with virtual backgrounds. So, ditch the plaid, the patterns, and the flamingo shirts and opt for solid colors. Your colleagues and fellow attendees will thank you.

ACCESSORIES: If it’s Too Much for Airport Security, it’s Too Much for Conference

Your jewelry should accent your attire, not define it. A thin or dainty chain, a set of pearls, or a layered necklace is both professional and appropriate and will help punctuate your style. A large necklace or several will not. Neither will multiple rings or loose jewelry that makes noise when you move your hands across the keyboard. Choose accessories that are simple, timely, and quiet. We should hear your voice, not your jewelry.

Lights, Camera, Action
ON-CAMERA: Makeup Should Enhance, Not Distract

For an on-camera experience in the virtual space, makeup should be applied broadly, not heavily. Because some cameras can pick up the tiniest imperfections on our faces, opting for a high-definition foundation may help present a smoother finish. But be careful not to over-apply so that your finished look doesn’t begin to crack or fade. If you choose lipstick, blush, or eye shadow, be sure the colors are complementary to your bright, solid wardrobe choices.

HAIR: Bigger is (Definitely) Not Better

Although big hair works extremely well for music videos, it’s not the best practice for professional conferences. In addition to taking up valuable space on the screen, big hair may interfere with graphics that are shared on screen. If your virtual calendar includes an evening reception or similar, a more robust hairstyle may not only be appropriate, but welcome. Check the attire suggestions, if provided, when preparing your wardrobe and hair selections.

LIGHTING: Creating an At-Home Glam Cam

Outside of hair and makeup, lighting may be the most important factor in projecting a polished look on-camera. Proper lighting helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, imperfections, and dark circles beneath the eyes. For best results, be sure your light source is directed toward your face. Once you have your light set, practice the best angle and distance from your lens by doing a test run on Zoom, Microsoft Office, or the selected platform for that session. Make the adjustments and document the settings for future meetings.

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