Changing workplaces, dispersed teams, business partners spread throughout the globe – all of that can only be managed efficiently if modern communication channels are utilized.
Videoconferences offer a good opportunity to overcome spatial distances in communication.
The technology is constantly improving in terms of stability and usability. Yet, in addition to mastering the tools, it is also important to adapt your communication behavior to the medium. Your personal impact on a computer screen is totally different than it is when you are sitting across from your business partner in the same room.
We would like to give you a few tips to help you develop an awareness of your personal impact so you can actively manage it.
- Use a quiet room without distractions! Any distractions in the background or in the audio can distract your business partners from you and what you have to say. In the worst-case scenario, these distractions could even be considered very irritating.
- Ensure that the background isn’t cluttered or busy! Even if there is nobody walking around in the background, any movements on monitors that are behind you or even a view out a window could be distracting. Furthermore, even a motionless background that appears chaotic can also reflect poorly upon your company.
- Make sure that there is sufficient light! It makes a much more positive impression when your business partner can see you well and doesn’t have to work to discern your image from a blurry silhouette within a murky environment.
- Look directly into the camera! That is the only way to generate “eye contact”. If you look at the image of your meeting partner on the monitor, then from the other person’s perspective, you’re only looking “past” him or her, because he or she sees you from the perspective of the camera lens.
- Control your presence by using movements along an imaginary line between you and the camera! Even small motions towards or away from the camera will significantly change the portion of the image that you take on the screen. You can use this fact to your advantage. Conversely, you should also take care not to send the wrong signals by making unintentional movements along this axis and not to seem unreasonably “obtrusive” or “withdrawn.”
- Make your gestures parallel to the camera lens! If you let your hands get too close to the camera, you give an impression that is often much stronger than is appropriate for the situation. People can relate to you better when you keep your gestures close to your body.
Try it out! Observe yourself and others – and feel free to share further tips on this topic in the comments section!