Making a Good Impression on Zoom

A Guide for Zoom Users

This is just a quick update to my blog about using teleconferencing successfully:  How many people know that you’re working from a bedroom? This blog is geared for Zoom users since that is an incredibly popular platform–most of my telecon meetings have been on Zoom.

In this blog we share how to create a custom backdrop using your own image. This feature isn’t perfect, but it does give you a little more control of the image you are presenting during a teleconference.

  1. Click on the arrow near the stop video link at the bottom-left-side or your screen
  2. Pick “Choose Virtual Background”
  3. On the page that appears click on the “+” button and pick “add image”
  4. Browse to an image on your computer that you want to use

Picking a picture with the correct dimensions is important, so here are some image sizes, in pixels, to consider.

  • Minimum dimension: 960px.
  • Maximum dimension: 1920px.
  • Recommended dimensions: 1920px by 1080px (16:9 aspect ratio).

Zoom states that if you don’t use an image with an aspect ratio of 16:9, you may see black bars beside the background image.    While that is true if the image you select is smaller than the suggested pixel size; I tend to use pictures I have taken on my digital camera.  Since I take high-res pictures, their size is 6000px by 4000px, Zoom just shows part of the high resolution image I have used.

About Aspect Ratios

Aspect ratios are a bit confusing, so here are a few bullet points to explain them.

  • 1:1 – is the ratio of a square
  • 3:2 – the ratio for most 35mm film cameras
  • 16:9 – the ratio for a widescreen (think about your t.v. or the large monitor hooked up to your computer.

Adding Text and/or Logos

Important note that your will image be displayed as a mirror, e.g. horizontally flipped.  If you want to get fancy and try to include your companies name or logo, that content will be backwards if you don’t flip it.  Editing your background to include that type of content can be tricky since different screen sizes will show different chunks of your background.

For additional information see Zoom’s help pages about virtual backgrounds.


Click on the thumbnails to see a screen capture!

Step 1. Start to change your background

Step 2.  Choose Virtual Background

Step 3. Browse to find the image you want to use.
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