Best Practices

What Message are you Sending on Video Meetings?

Provided by Alyssa Gelbard, Founder & CEO, Point Road Group

You make impressions on others during video meetings every day. How you come across to colleagues, your boss or the board, as well as during to any external contact has an impact on what people think about you. It’s beneficial to reassess from time to time whether you (and your team) are making optimal impressions over video or if you’ve let complacency set in.

Are you missing in action?

  • Video meetings are a chance to engage with colleagues and maintain visibility when apart. If everyone else has their camera on, you should too. Avoid giving the impression of being disengaged, ill-prepared or the person who “nobody ever sees.” If you need to go off video temporarily (like when in transit or speaking to someone else in the room), set up your avatar with a professional looking headshot vs. the default initials/grey headshot.

Do you mismanage distractions?

  • While you can’t control for everything when working virtually, you can minimize distractions because they will inevitably happen. Close an open window to minimize noise from outside, silence your phone so others don’t hear alerts and let members of the household know you’ll be in a meeting, so they don’t walk in and out of the room behind you.

  • If something unavoidable occurs, the key is to remain composed instead of reacting animatedly or strongly to handle the situation. Remember, people can see you and everything is magnified on screen. Use mute and disable video when needed. Note in the chat if you need to step away briefly. Once handled, reengage as soon as possible and don’t dwell on the issue and call unnecessary attention to whatever it was.

Do you multi-task?

  • Video meetings require full attention and active listening; anything less is noticed because of the close view of your face and eye contact. If you think you’re being productive by responding to emails during a video meeting, others may see someone who is not engaged or paying attention. This can come across as disrespectful, uninterested or self-centered. If you use two monitors, keep the video application open on the screen your camera is on (and make eye contact with the lens) so meeting participants don’t feel like you’re looking away from them. Remember, the camera amplifies facial expressions and body language. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing something in a face-to-face meeting, refrain from the activity during video meetings too.

Are you cutting corners?

  • Working remotely is not an excuse to skip the effort to present yourself well on video. You’re also setting an example for your team too, so it’s worth taking a minute to check out the impression you’re making. Remember to look at what people see behind you. Before a meeting, do a quick test to see your background, camera positioning and lighting. Don’t wait until you log on to a meeting and use the preview screen to see how you come across. You may end up late for the meeting because you need time to make adjustments! Your virtual image IS your image when working remotely. Make sure you always put forth the best version of yourself (and your company) on video.

Read the full article here.