As we are all plunged into a situation never experienced before and not wishing to go on about what we can’t do, I’m trying (like many of us) to focus on what we can do.
I’ve listed a few quick tips for you to consider when engaging in online meetings, so you can be seen and heard clearly, communicate effectively, be professional, but also be yourself:
As with any meeting, make sure you are ready beforehand – This might mean making sure you have any relevant notes and/or writing materials to hand. Know who is going to initiate contact with who and that you have the right software on your device/computer. Make sure your video and audio are switched on and working and is at a reasonable audio sound level.
Face the best source of available light in your room – to avoid your face being in almost darkness, make sure you are well lit, even if its just natural light in front of you and avoid bright daylight streaming through a window behind you. This should help reduce the camera on your device from constantly trying to adjust the exposure as you move around in front of it.
Consider what distractions there may be and try to minimise – many of us will be holding our conversations from a home office and its your choice if you wish to roll up to your meeting in your PJ’s… but, its a good idea to close doors and windows to minimise people and pets walking in, outside traffic noise or roadworks and perhaps remove that stand of washing that’s behind your chair!
Have the camera on your computer at eye level – if your camera level is too low, others will have a lovely view straight up your nose, it’s a very unflattering angle for you and is not the level we communicate with people when we are face to face. A simple pile of books, or a small box might just be sufficient to raise your device. Have your monitor as close to vertical as possible.
Try to hold eye contact with the camera lens in your device – its more tempting to watch the other persons face on the monitor, but, that means you are unlikely to be holding eye contact. Maintaining good eye contact shows the other person you are giving them your full attention.
Allow for a small time delay when responding to speak online – always speak clearly and try not to talk over someone, or jump into the conversation too quickly. Allow an extra moment before responding to speak, that way you minimise having to ask the other person to repeat what they said.
Happy and productive meetings everyone – please get in touch should you need further advise.
Image copyright – Penny Morgan Photography