Does Videoconferencing MakeYou Sweat? 5 Tips to a Successful Presentation

By:  |  Category: Blog, Telephony Tuesday, March 21st, 2017  |  No Comments

As telecommuting continues to surge—videoconferencing becomes a powerful tool to stay connected in the workforce. But for the less technical and less confidant employees, videoconferencing presents its own set of challenges.

While videoconferencing is a great way to do business, a disorganized video conference can stall progress on projects as the potential for interruptions grows quickly as the number of locations joining the conference increases. In addition, background noise can also be distracting.

With all of these outside forces at play, an individual’s reputation could be affected if they consistently deliver a poor performance on video. Presenters who fail to demonstrate confidence can limit their ability to influence other team members or even maintain control of the call. And if they don’t master delivering video presentations, they could see their opportunities for professional advancement decrease as well.

Fortunately, with thoughtful planning, effort and practice, you can develop a compelling presence on video. Follow these five steps for greater confidence during your video conferences:

1.  Notice Your Environment

Are your kids screeching in the background? Is the dog barking or the printer humming incessantly? The first step to making a good impression on camera is to get rid of the background noise. Start by creating a dedicated space for your video conference, ideally in a room where you can close the door. If you’re in a loud place, be sure to mute the call whenever you’re not speaking. Then, organize your area to remove potential distractions and obstacles. Situating yourself in front of a blank wall often works well. Don’t forget to tell your family and colleagues to avoid interrupting you during your conference.

Before the call, turn on the camera and do a few test runs. Looking down into the camera creates a double chin and is unflattering, so be sure to put your camera closer to eye level. Proper lighting also makes a big difference. Set up a soft, diffused light, such as a window with sheer curtains or a lamp placed nearby. Avoid harsh fluorescent ceiling lights, which create shadows and lines on your face.

2.  Dress like You Mean Business

Even if your office is at home, dress the part of a professional. Pack away the yoga pants and t-shirt you usually work in and pull out your work clothes  If you’re meeting with clients, dress as you would if you were meeting them in person. For internal team meetings, attire should reflect what you would wear in the office regardless of your location. Either way, your clothes should set a professional tone, which will give greater weight to your words.

Since colors tend to wash out on screen, wear bright solids. They’re less distracting than patterns and look better on camera.

3. Show Confidence

Confidence is communicated through both body language and eye contact. It may be difficult during long conference calls, but be especially conscious of fidgeting. Frequent movement can be distracting to other participants, even if you aren’t the presenter. Focus on staying still and sitting up straight.

Eye contact can be even harder. On video conferences, we tend to look at the other attendees while we talk and sometimes even the window showing ourselves. But this can be disconcerting for them because it sets your gaze below the camera giving the impression that you’re looking down and away. Instead, look directly into the camera whenever you speak.

4.  Use Your Manners

On audio calls, multitasking is common and can be a problem. How many of us answer emails while in a meeting? While video conferences discourage such behavior, other activities, like texting under the table or zoning out can still be tempting. Remember that the rules of business etiquette still apply, even more so in a virtual environment. Don’t break out your lunch for everyone to see, and don’t hold side conversations. Treat virtual attendees with as much courtesy as in-person participants.

Additionally, if you’re leading a call with participants who don’t know each other it is a good idea to follow common meeting best practices, such as introducing everyone before the discussion gets started.

5.  Don’t Get Railroaded

In business—time is money—so be conscious of your agenda and what you want to accomplish. Try to plan effectively. Create an agenda and use it. Whether you use a bulleted list or an agenda timer, track your progress and keep the conversation on topic.

For video conference newbies, these best practices will take the edge off of being on camera, and before long, videoconferencing will become a normal part of your routine.

Samantha Keller

Samantha Keller

Director of Marketing and PR at EnhancedTECH
Samantha Keller (AKA Sam) is a published author, tech-blogger, event-planner and mother of three fabulous humans. Samantha has worked in the IT field for the last fifteen years, intertwining a freelance writing career along with technology sales, events and marketing. She began working for EnhancedTECH ten years ago after earning her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and attending Fuller Seminary. She is a lover of kickboxing, extra-strong coffee, and Wolfpack football.Her regular blog columns feature upcoming tech trends, cybersecurity tips, and practical solutions geared towards enhancing your business through technology.
Samantha Keller
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