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
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