When conducted effectively, virtual meetings can help organizations to mine the collective knowledge of dispersed employees. Geographically distributed teams can come together for a virtual yet face-to-face meeting. Moving beyond audio-enabled meetings, videoconferencing helps in making meetings more engaging. Body language plays a significant role in deciding the fate of any video conference.
According to a research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, 93 percent of how you are judged during a meeting is based on your non-verbal communication — Facial expression, posture and eye contact. Body movement, postures, and the tone of voice has to be just right during a videoconference to have an engaging conversation with other participants.
Most of the video conferences go off track because of the lower level of eye contact frequency and intensity, and ambiguous facial expressions. Here’re the tips to make your next videoconference successful by training your body to mimic verbal messages, so that every video conference becomes successful.
As per a Forbes report, businesspersons from the major parts of the world expect listeners to maintain eye contact 50–60 percent of the time.
An effective conversation begins only when the listener makes the first eye contact. The most crucial body language during a videoconference is the eye contact. It helps in creating a lasting impression on every participant and contribute to a positive conversation. If done right, consistent eye contact can speak volumes about your confidence to face the meeting and the interest to participate significantly.
If lower eye contact conveys the message to participants that you are either a poor listener or you lack self-confidence, too much of eye contact equally puts off the meeting attendees. A good idea is to adjust the height of your monitor camera such that you can comfortably make the eye contact by looking at attendees’ face on the screen. In case you are using teleprompter, you need to keep it at the eye contact level.
If you manage to control your facial features, you can make the first impression right on the attendees of any videoconference. To look amiable and sincere during a virtual meeting, avoid frowning, sneering or staring. Such aggressive facial cues can affect your intentions to sail through a videoconference positively. The acceptable facial expression during a professional meeting is keeping a moderate smile with slightly raised eyebrows.
The message that your body language conveys to the participants of a videoconference is important. While keeping the body language right, make sure your posture complements the message that you are trying to convey. No matter, how long the meeting continues, you cannot let your body stoop and make your disinterest obvious. Sit up taller and lean your shoulders slightly towards the camera to look impressive in front of the speaker.
Even if you are unsure about your hand posture, just remember to keep your arms uncrossed. You can either keep your hands on the desk in front of you, or keep your palms connected in front of your stomach.
Also, your upper body should not be overtly stiff, as it presents you in a defensive and uncomfortable mode. Your impression as a disinterested participant can dissuade the attendee from building a lasting professional relationship, and that is not acceptable for any business.
In a videoconference, the pitch of your voice can decide how you are perceived by attendees. While high-pitched voice can get you tagged as less empathetic, low-pitch voice can present you as less confident or unprepared. So, try to sound relaxed with the optimal vocal pitch that you maintain during any other face-to-face conversation.
The Final Thought
Remember, he words that you speak during a videoconference is not enough to make a lasting impression. It’s your body language that speaks louder and clearer than your words. So, train your body language with these professional tips to ace your next videoconference.
Originally published at www.techpillar.com.