Are You Ready for Your Close Up? How to Show Up for Your Virtual Meetings

April 15, 2020 3:33 pm

In our current reality of exclusively virtual meetings, an increasing number of organizations and leaders are requesting that cameras be on, if at all possible. It’s hard to argue that the quality of engagement, verbal and non-verbal communication greatly increases when participants can see each other.

How you ‘show up’ for a video meeting can at best, increase your credibility and chance that you are heard or at worst, distract and even negatively impact group dialogue. But we get it – we are all dealing with a lot behind the scenes of our “home offices” so we wanted to provide some quick tips to help you up your virtual meeting game. Improving just a couple of items on this list can make a big difference.

Element Best Practice (Participant can Control) Avoid
Lighting
  • Head is well lit, background is darker or out of focus
  • Windows in view; head and background have same light level
Angle & Framing
  • Angle of camera – Eye level, horizontal.
  • Angle of glance – Looking at Camera.
  • Frame head and shoulders to mid-arm – allows hands to come in view for gestures
  • Too low, shows lots of ceiling.
  • Looking off to the side while talking to people.
  • Too wide, shows lots of “real estate;” too tight, cuts off head
Background
  • Neutral, darker, out of focus
  • Cluttered, distracting, movement
Body Language
  • Nodding to emphasize connection;
  • Be animated – talking heads are boring
  • Leaning forward. Showing appropriate expressions – lots of smiles
  • Show hand gestures!
  • Inexpressive, stony gaze.
  • Avoid the statue format
  • Watch the “concentration face”
  • Distracting expressions, random movements, looking away (during discussions)
Voice
  • Colourful (silence; louder; softer; staccato; superfast)
  • Pauses between phrases, instructions
  • Monotone, little or no variation in speed, volume
  • Run on – seems nervous, is inaudible
Time Crunched In Your Virtual Meetings? How to Allocate Timing in Your Meeting Design
One question we are often asked in our workshops; is how do you know how much time to allocate each topic to en...
Facilitating Through the Storm: The Importance of Interpersonal Norms
Now that many teams have been working remotely for months with no immediate plans for change, it may be time to tak...
Running Engaging Meetings on Zoom Just Got Even Better!
The Facilitation First team is so excited about the latest Zoom upgrade (5.3 or higher), we decided to blog about i...
Be Proactive! Structure Your Meetings to Create Clarity & Minimize Challenging Behaviours
How you structure your meeting could invite conflict, off topic remarks, dominators, or, the flip side, create more...
Infusing Fun into your next Virtual Meeting: Online Warm-Ups & Energizers
Let’s face it, online meetings can be awkward, especially when you don’t know anyone on the video call. You mig...

Let us Know

Do you have a unique meeting challenge not covered by one of our blog posts? We’re always looking for different dilemmas to discuss in our articles!