In our book, Your Invisible Toolbox, my co-author, Deborah Rinner, and I highlight two important trends that have heightened meaning during this pandemic as the business world embraces swiftly and nearly completely virtual communication technology.
In Chapter 5, “A New World of Citizen Journalism,” we caution people to consider the consequences of their words. Even in seemingly private events and conversations, you may be recorded. That’s certainly true of all the meetings we’re holding on virtual platforms these days.
In Chapter 29, “Caught on Camera,” we remind readers that cameras are everywhere. We suggest that everywhere you go, you act like you are being watched. That camera on your laptop, tablet or phone may be revealing things about you that you wouldn’t want broadcast to the world.
With many business meetings, events and even cocktail parties finding their way to Zoom and WebEx platforms, too many of us are at risk of being too casual in how we present ourselves virtually.
Here are three tips to improve your effectiveness in virtual meetings.
- From a young age, we’ve been coached to look people in the eyes. That’s also true in virtual meetings. The challenge is that the eyes we need to talk to in virtual meetings are the camera on your device and not the image on the screen. When talking, talk to the camera. When listening, look at the person’s image on the screen who is speaking.
- Make sure people can see your eyes. Position your device so that the camera is at eye level. That angle will improve how you look, and you’ll create the perception of better eye contact throughout the interaction.
- Be attentive to the messages you are sending through your attire and your surroundings. You are communicating your brand, your expertise and your credibility in every interaction. Just because you’re working in a more relaxed environment doesn’t mean you should relax your professionalism and brand.
For more tips, check out Tero’s Virtual Presence and Meeting Effectiveness four-hour workshop.
You can listen to Chapters 5 here and 29 here from Your Invisible Toolbox, or visit Amazon to order your own physical copy or audio version of the book.