A video meeting is just like a live meeting — almost. If you’re used to conducting live presentations, you are already well on your way to becoming an effective video communicator. The techniques that ensure powerful live presentations and dynamic meetings also work for video communication.However, video meetings and presentations do require some minor adjustments. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Be more than a talking head. Your video system gives you the ability to share multimedia source materials such as video clips, Web sites, spreadsheets and other presentations. Taking advantage of this ability to communicate visual information will make your video meetings more engaging and effective.
- Look ‘em in the eye. Eye contact is important in any presentation. In a video environment, eye contact comes from looking toward the camera — not thedisplay. Make certain that your camera is positioned as close as possible to the top center of your video display. This will give the impression of strong eye contact,and help to build trust and understanding among your participants.
- Speak up. If you mumble and cannot be heard by the person seated next to you, the people on the other end will also have a problem hearing you.
- You’re in the spotlight. Cameras and video displays tend to make everything “bigger.” Nervous habits or little recurrent gestures will be magnified and a distraction to participants on the other end. Try not to rock, sway or fidget with paper or pens. Remember to relax. A video meeting is like any other meeting,except it includes people who are not physically present in your room.
- The camera is always paying attention. When you are connected in a video call, the camera and microphone will faithfully pick up all images and words. Smart remarks, quips and asides, or demeaning gestures such as rolling eyes, will be greatly amplified at the far end. You should assume that the other meeting participants can hear and see everything, even when the camera is not pointed in your direction.