Now more than ever we need to be comfortable and happy in front of a camera, as all of our meetings go virtual. Here are some tips to use when meeting with team members, attending an interview, or hosting a presentation online:
1. Choose a platform
There are many available options, but consider your goals and make sure to match your specific needs with the platform. For example, does your team just need to catch up, or do you need to share slides? Are all the members of your team in places with adequate internet connection and therefore able to share video? Are the candidates you are interviewing tech savvy?
Think carefully about what content you may need to share. WebEx, for example, won’t play a video while sharing your screen, for example one that’s embedded in a PowerPoint, as it’s framerate is not high enough. Zoom is great for seeing whole groups of people as video tiles, rather than just a large video of the person talking. Each platform has its merits, so it’s important you make sure the one you plan on using is able to be used the way you want it.
2. Ensure that you are familiar with the platform you are using
If this means you need to practice and play around with it beforehand, do that. There are many online resources to help you with this. If you need to show a presentation or play videos, make sure that they work, and that you are fluent using them before you go into your meeting or presentation.
3. Be comfortable
It helps if the camera is eye level, with your head and shoulders clearly visible. Avoid sitting too close or too far from the camera. When someone else is talking try to look at them, and when you are speaking engage with your audience by looking at the camera and making everyone feel like they are in the same room. Small things like showing your team members your cat, or referencing something in your room can help people feel connected and present. This can also help you to relax and feel more grounded.
4. Good light
Try to position yourself where there is lots of natural light so that people can see your face clearly. Humans rely on visual cues when talking to each other, so try and make sure you are as well-lit as possible.
5. Be adaptable and willing to work around technical difficulties
So many things can go wrong in virtual meetings so try to be as prepared as possible, but if things go wrong stay calm and try to find the best solutions without panicking.
6. Get to the point
Depending on the situation, try to get to the point as quickly as possible whilst allocating time to check in with everyone. The goal is to simulate an actual meeting by achieving all you would if you were physically together.
7. Dress appropriately
If you dress the part you are much more likely to feel comfortable and happy, giving you greater capacity to get your point across and achieve your objectives.
Communicating effectively online comes down to the same things as communicating effectively in person. Your mindset, your body language, and your voice. Be positive, calm and passionate about what you are saying. This will leave your audience engaged, and you feeling successful.