Background distractions and poor audio quality are often the biggest problems with video conferences.
Double check what background sounds might be heard. And check the quality of your microphone. It may be worth investing in a separate external microphone.
And check your background – no windows or bright lights behind you. And which books are on your shelves? Avoid clutter. These distractions distract your audience and impact your image of professionalism.
Most importantly, plan what you say with care. When speaking directly to camera each word matters. Use all your presenting and public speaking expertise to connect with your audience, grab their attention, reinforce your messages and illustrate your examples.
Then, familiarise yourself with the video conferencing software. Test the connection, the sound levels and how to share your screen or start your digital presentation. This will help you appear professional and in control.
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said,” according to management guru Peter Drucker.
Nonverbal communications includes movements and postures that communicate our feelings and attitudes. And, facial cues play a vital role in how participants perceive interactions.
Quick tips for improving your body language in virtual meetings:
When deciding what to wear, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: would I wear this to the office? If your clients would expect to see you in smart business attire, wear that.
Also, choose clothes that look good on-screen. For example, news reporters on television avoid wearing white because it catches too much light. And they rarely wear clothing with bold or checkered patterns, as these tend to ‘jump’ on screen. Instead, opt for solid colours.
Winston Churchill once said, “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
So, however tempting, avoid distractions such as emails or messages. When your gaze is not on your the camera, participants will assume you are distracted. That means switch off your phone and if using a computer, exit applications such as email that generate alerts.
And, above all, remember that you are always visible. If you hold your head in your hands, others will interpret this.
Finally, do what the best do and prepare yourself properly. That means rehearsing and practicing. This is what makes the difference. Keep building your skills so that you look great. If you want us to help, we can support you either remotely via video conference or face-to-face.
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