It could have been weeks or even months since you started working remotely, depending on the date your country, company, or community issued a stay-at-home policy.
It’s not surprising that the way you “show up” to the world has changed. Most people maintain a professional appearance when making online calls, even though they started working from home.
A few weeks later, corporate attire has been replaced by T-Shirts: no shirts, sweatpants, or even shorts. One client refused to turn on her camera for a meeting at 11 o’clock in the morning because she hadn’t appropriately dressed for the day.
It is clear that people are showing up differently to business meetings. Men are sporting beard stubble, and women are skipping make-up.
While it may be acceptable to appear relaxed and untrained when you are chatting with colleagues or the boss, this is not ideal when speaking with clients or prospects. Before you turn on the camera, ask yourself: “What impression am I making right now?”
It is crucial to put your best foot forward in a virtual meeting, especially since there are fewer meetings taking place. It is vital that you do an excellent job at a virtual appointment if it is necessary.
Gentlemen need to have a well-groomed face, and ladies need to be able to present a compelling virtual presentation.
These are some of the ways you can convey authority and confidence using teleconferencing technology.
Enhancing your Technology
There are already experts who have spoken out about the technical aspects and use of conferencing platforms. I want to help you improve your presentation by sharing some simple tips that you can use right now to enhance professionalism.
It doesn’t matter if you are giving a presentation to a large audience or a one-to-1. It is vital that the sound quality is perfect. Distant sounds, such as air conditioners, can affect the quality and presentation. All audible notifications from your mobile phone should be turned off.
Avoid looking out of windows. To avoid backlit, close curtains behind you. Place a desk lamp on your desk, so it is well lit. The best light source is natural sunlight. Sit with a window in front of you if possible.
You can use the camera.
Cameras see more than you think. Zoom’s 16×9 aspect ratio will show you more of the world around you. This allows for a cleaner desktop.
Find out what’s in the background. Make a screen capture of yourself and then zoom it in. This will let you see behind, to your sides, and above you. You may not realize how much your camera can pick up.
Tools of the Trade
Consider investing in a clip-on lamp that can be attached to your iPad, iPhone, or Android devices, such as a Selfie Ring Light or Chatlight, if the area where you will be presenting is not well lit.
Some presentations can’t be done via an iPad or laptop. Sometimes, you may need to present via your smartphone. My coaching session with a client in China takes place via WeChat. A shaky hand and distracting presentations can result from holding your phone for too long. A tripod stand is a better choice. It frees you from the burden of having your phone and allows you to gesture naturally.
Clickers for laptop presentation remotes
Technology has made it possible to give virtual presentations. You may find yourself standing while giving a presentation. To advance slides, you should not move around in the shot. It’s worth investing in a PowerPoint remote control clicker.
Let’s face it, our friends and family don’t care about how we look or what we wear on a video call. We can’t be too lenient when it comes to business.
Conferencing today requires professionalism. You’ll want your best. These things can make or break a deal.
Do your homework in advance.
These teleconferencing platforms are still being used by many people today. Learn how to share your screen so that others can hear you.
Do the presentation. You don’t have to be in the same room with the customer, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put in the same effort. You don’t get a pass for practicing your presentation if you have notes.
The Camera Position
If your camera is below the computer, prop it up on a few books or a container. Nobody wants to look up at your nose or see the sagging skin beneath your chin.
It is crucial to speak directly into the camera, not at the screen.
Body Language& Gestures
Sit straight up. To support your spine, place a pillow behind you. Avoid swinging left and right if you have a swivel armchair.
It is natural for your hands to want to move when you speak. Therefore, it’s OK to be animated. Be careful not to make hand gestures that are too close or parallel to your body. Your hands are magnified by the camera, so it can be strange to see your hands pop in and out of focus.
Do not eat in front of the camera.
Make sure you have something to eat before your conference call. You don’t want anyone to see you eat, and people won’t be able to understand what you are doing if they’re eating.
Every presentation is essential and has high stakes. Your virtual presentation should be a success.
Pamela Wigglesworth (CSP) is an international speaker, entrepreneur, and market consultant. She also has three books to her credit. She is the CEO and founder of Experiential Hands-on Learning. She assists organizations in a variety of industries with brand awareness, leads generation, and sales growth.