Oh, the wonderful, and tricky, world of web conferencing. It seems like more and more of our work is being done virtually, creating a whole new potential for the meaning of “business casual.”
We’ve gotten questions time and again about communicating yourself over a webcam. To answer that call, here are a few shortcuts to help you step up your web conferencing game:
Look at the camera. It’s tempting to check yourself out or to check in on your audience, as you would if you were live. Instead, look toward the top of the screen (that’s most likely where your webcam is, although not necessarily if you are on a tablet).
If possible, move your video windows to place your audience as close to the webcam as possible. It’ll make it easier.
Look into the camera when you are speaking. Then, check in for reactions after you are done speaking. You will come across as though you are looking directly at your viewer(s).
Have light facing you. That’s how they make celebrities look so good on camera! Conversely, make sure you don’t have light streaming in behind you from a window. It creates a shadow and makes you harder to see.
Keep your background simple. Even if you’re calling in from home, you probably don’t want the dirty laundry hamper right behind you. The plainer your background – the more focus will be on you.
Find a quiet place. As much as you might love sitting at Starbucks and calling into a web conference, it can be incredibly distracting for others to hear all that background noise on the conference. Between the espresso machines, the music, orders being called out, and bits of other conversations making it into the background – it’s just too much. This guidance also applies for conference calls.
Turn off any programs you don’t need. I was recently on a web conference and sharing my screen – when voila! – a message popped up in the background from WebMD that, let’s say, was a bit more personal than I had intended to share. Lesson learned: close out the programs and websites you don’t need – you don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised.
If you follow these tips, you can still be business on the top, casual (read: pajamas) on bottom.
True or False: To be taken seriously, you have to be serious? False. People buy on emotion and justify with fact. Whether we’re presenting at a quarterly business review (QBR), in front of your board or simply touching base in a one-on-one meeting, we have to be light! But don’t just take … Continue reading →
How do you communicate effectively when you’re connecting via Skype, Google Hangout or a GoToMeeting video conference? I participate in at least 10 meetings every month from behind my computer screen, and I have great news: There is a magic key – a golden ticket, if you will – to … Continue reading →
Who do you see when you look in the mirror? Is it the same person your boss, your family, your audience and everyone else sees? All of us, men and women, alike, can be our own harshest critics. That’s why Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign immediately went viral (as did … Continue reading →
In effective communicating, it’s not just important to be likable, but to exude likability. Proof? The Voice vs. American Idol. Are you an old time addict of American Idol as I was? I even blogged on how critical confidence was for success – probably my favorite Idol of all time … Continue reading →
It’s gotten easy to sit behind a computer and communicate, but we know that in order to influence change, to motivate others, to connect with people — we have to get in front of them. I had the chance to see Gary Vaynerchuk at a book signing this morning (practically at … Continue reading →
Typically I video blog about a communication in current events, or who’s communicating well and who seriously needs some coaching. But today, I’m talking about taking risks in your own communication. Take a look!
As many of you have seen, Toyota put on a large-scale video conference with 7,000 employees this morning. This is a great example of using video communication to connect in a business setting. Here’s a video blog about the critical nature of connecting in business, exemplified by this morning’s Toyota … Continue reading →
“Status quo is disguised decay.” -Pete Wilkinson The truth is, status quo is a facade. You’re either improving or decaying. Some have put it that you are either growing or you’re dying. True. There is no in between. What’s your goal as a communicator? To improve specific behavioral skills? To … Continue reading →
Thank you for all the response on my last video blog! I’m happy to keep them coming, so here we go with a second quick video where I’ll talk about communication in the news. Remember, I also want to give you feedback! Video tape yourself at a meeting or giving … Continue reading →