Tips for Effective Virtual Communication
As you can guess, I’ve been giving a lot of virtual programs. I’m fact, I am a certified virtual presenter! I also think this way of communicating isn’t going away. Let me share a few tips to help you up your game:
- Elevate your camera. It should be at eye level or slightly above. You may need to get a webcam to use with your laptop or change your setup in another way.
- Actually turn your camera on. This depends on your organizational culture (if your boss and no one else has their camera on, okay, I’ll give you a pass), but most of the time turn it on! I’ve seen people leading meetings with their cameras off! No, no, no. Using your camera is kind of the whole point. If other people have their cameras on and yours is off, the assumption is that you don’t care or you’re not a team player.
- Fix your lighting! This is the biggest mistake I see. Time to get a ring light or position yourself in front of a window. If light is coming from behind or to one side of you, your face will be in shadow. Adding a good source of light makes all the difference.
- Check your rearview. What’s behind you? I love my greenscreen because I can completely customize my background. (You can see my virtual courtroom in the photo.) If you don’t want to go that far, at least clean up any random stacks of paper and consider some artwork or a plant to liven up the space. If you don’t have a greenscreen and good lighting, don’t use those virtual backgrounds available on some platforms. That weird halo effect isn’t worth it.
- Log on early. Sound settings change, wrong log in information is sent, profiles need to be set up. You don’t want to be the person holding things up because the sound setting that worked on Zoom doesn’t work in Teams.
- Fight Zoom Fatigue – keep virtual meetings short, try not to multitask (exhausting and you’re not really paying attention), and email and phone calls still work. We have more tools than ever, part of being an effective communicator is knowing which one to use. (Personally, I could use a hug.)