Love them or hate them, video calls are here to stay so how can we best embrace this new way of working particularly when meeting clients for the first time (virtually) or taking part in online meetings and hearings.
Natalie Poyser is the owner of Thrive & Flourish, a training and development company that helps people to transform the way they are perceived by others and give them new-found confidence in how they communicate, both on and offline.
We asked her to share some advice on how best to communicate and engage with people on screen with five simple tips to making more effective video calls.
“Being in a lockdown has introduced the majority of people to the video conference call.
Granted many people were using this tool in the workplace previously but now we hold all our meetings, consultations, training, socialising etc. virtually.
And they are not going away anytime soon however they can be difficult, awkward and often more tiring than face to face meetings.
This is because it is harder to assess other people’s non-verbal cues so you have to listen, concentrate and be more alert than usual.
Here are some simple things that you can do to help reduce fatigue and maintain a sense of connection to the outcome you want from this new way of working.
Firstly make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare.
I appreciate how hard it is to get the peace and quiet you need, especially if my house is anything to go by, but just 5 minutes before the planned meeting can be enough.
Make sure your camera is in the correct position, ideally at eye level, your chair is comfortable and you are able to plant your feet on the floor.
Give yourself a few minutes to take a few deep slow breaths from the belly and repeat a few times, trying to make sure the ‘out’ breath is longer than the ‘in’ breath.
This will help release any tension you may have, centre you and also gives you the time to think about what outcomes you want from the meeting.
The outcome is an important element that helps you establish and bring clarity to what you want the other people at the end of the camera to think, feel or do.
When your meeting starts, try and keep your feet grounded on the floor and, if you can, sit up straight. This allows more space in your diaphragm to breath which enables you to speak with energy but using less effort. It also stops you from moving around too much, which can be a distraction.
It is important to emotionally connect with other people on your call, so remember to look at the lens in the camera when you are speaking to make eye contact, rather than looking at the person on screen.
Lastly, remember the power of taking a pause. Take your time when talking. A video call doesn’t have to be quicker than a face to face meeting. We all still need to digest what is being said before we respond.
Allowing time to pause will also give you the time to breathe and think about what you want to say next too.”
This blog was first published at www.stowefamilylaw.co.uk and is reproduced with permission.