When participating in a virtual meeting, one has to always be cognizant of their body language and what it is conveying. Not being mindful of something this critical can give those you video chat with a very incorrect impression of you.
Professor Albert Mehrabian’s famous 7-38-55 rule stipulates that 7% of meaning is communicated through spoken word, 38% through tone of voice, and 55% through body language. With that in mind, you need to always be aware of what your body is saying, even when you are silent.
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Scott Wilson, Co-Founder and CEO of virtual meeting platform Banty.com, believes in this theory. Subsequently, he has offered the following tips on proper video call body language:
- Sit up straight: When you sit up straight, you are showing everyone on the call that you are focused, interested, and respectful. What’s more, this position implies confidence and strength, two traits in business that are always important to showcase to both co-workers and clients
- Make clear eye contact: Providing amazing eye contact during a virtual meeting can be challenging. Some people want to look straight at the screen when speaking, while others try to concentrate on the tiny webcam lens. Zone in on the latter, as you will always appear more attentive if you look into the camera instead of at the screen
- Be aware of facial expressions: Even though you can see yourself on a video call, it’s not easy to always be aware of what your facial expressions are doing. While some resting faces look mean-spirited, they are not always intended to put forth that vibe. However, eye-rolling, and disapproving smirks cannot be easily explained away. Try your best to maintain a neutral expression until a reaction becomes necessary
- Keep fidgeting to a minimum: Whether you are presenting, or listening to others speak, avoid fidgeting constantly with your clothing, items on the desk, or the device being used for your video call. Frequent fidgeting will not just distract everyone in the room, but could even shift your focus away from the objectives at-hand. Keep your head still and centered on the screen
- Exude enthusiasm: If you are excited or encouraged by a topic in the meeting, do not be afraid to get slightly animated and speak with your hands. Those in the room will certainly appreciate the spirit. That said, do not get too carried away and flail your arms uncontrollably. Such actions can grow old rather quickly
“A lot of us don’t normally think about how big of a role our body language plays in terms of communicating with other people,” offers Scott. “On video calls in particular, it must be remembered that not everyone knows what you are like in an in-person environment. As a result, you should always concentrate on putting forth the most positive, professional demeanor you can in a virtual meeting. Exuding such traits will go a long way toward building a productive and respectful rapport with others in your industry.”
Banty.com’s video call service offers all subscribers a custom, permanent URL (i.e., Banty.com/MyMeeting); a secure, end-to-end encrypted meeting space; excellent video quality; unlimited meetings each month; and straightforward scheduling tools.
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