Covid-19 plunged many of us into videoconferencing.
Be it on Zoom, TEAMs, Google Hangouts or another, a day spent videoconferencing can make you feel more drained than if you’d met face-to-face. That’s because engaging with
people through a screen takes away a variety of communication cues, demanding more concentration and focus.
Especially when you first meet someone, our first impressions are based on a variety of non-verbal communicators, such as how they walk, dress, gesticulate or their body language.
Videoconferencing makes it harder to project yourself too, as ‘TV’ saps up to 40% of your energy levels.
Read on if you want to:
- Keep the business coming in and keeping teams together by getting the videoconferencing basics right
- Project professionalism in your virtual meetings, reducing the need for excess concentration
- Avoiding common pitfalls
- And, most importantly, inject energy and enthusiasm into your calls.
1. Do use videoconferencing: it’s far more powerful than an email or a phone call.
1 picture paints 1,000 words
1 minute of video paints 1,000,000 words
2. Do listen: listen well and everything else falls into place. Give way, let others speak first if you start to speak at the same time. Summarise and paraphrase what’s been said to reflect your understanding.
3. Do be visual: turn your camera on. It shows you’re ‘open’ which helps your audience get to know and like you.
4. Do use the tech: for example:
a. blur your background to keep things focused on you
b. mute if you need to speak to others in your household
c. if there’s a crowd, stay muted until you’ve something to say or it’s your turn to
5. Do open your visual aids: so they’re ready for sharing BEFORE you join the videocall or start to share your screen.
6. Do use etiquette when recording:
a. Before you start, say, “We’re intending to record this session so please let me know if you’ve any objections.”
b. As you start recording THEN say, “We’ve had no objections so, as previously advised, we’ll start recording now”.
7. Do use a headset:
a. You’ll hear others better
b. They’ll hear you better.
8. Do smile
1. Don’t invite everyone to the call: fewer is better. You’ll achieve more.
2. Don’t dive straight into business: start by settling into conversational rhythm with pleasantries/chat.
3. Don’t jump in to speak as soon as someone stops talking: show how intently you’re listening by giving the speaker ‘space to breathe’ and finish (rather than just waiting for them to stop speaking, so you can start).
4. Don’t ask ‘can you hear me?’: be confident by checking your own microphone and camera before you talk.
5. Don’t fidget: if you move, your face may move out of focus and that compromises the power of what you’re saying.
6. Don’t lean back: you want to project ‘interested’ not ‘careless’. Lean in.
WORD OF WARNING:
Embrace videoconferencing and ‘rock the room’ from a distance, but remember, nothing beats the full-on, sound, vision, smell and touch – free of bandwidth limitations – of face-to-face communications.