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Six Body Language Tips for Virtual Meetings

Six Body Language Tips for Virtual Meetings

Six Body Language Tips for Virtual Meetings

With virtual meetings the norm for so many of us at the moment, it is vital that we engage with the people that we speak to online. Body language is no less important online than in person, but we need to adapt the way we act to fit the new medium.

Why is body language important online?

The COVID crisis has caused many conversations to be transferred to online Zoom and Teams meetings, which has inevitably led to a change in the way we converse with each other.

During online meetings, the body language element of our communication is handicapped. Since we understand how other people feel by watching their body language, the communication suffers.

If the body language aspect of communication is reduced, then the amount of visual information we gain, is also reduced, which impairs the quality of the communication.

In order to maintain effective communication, we should maximise the amount of body language we use during online meetings, by doing the following:

1. Switch the camera on.

The most common body language error people make during virtual meetings is to switch their camera off, so they cannot be seen.

We understand the reasons why people don't like being on camera, but it is essential to the meeting that we can see each other.

So, brush your hair, try to look your best and put on a good show.

2. Sit back from the camera to show the whole upper body.

Don't sit too close to the camera because it looks terrible.

Instead, sit away from the camera so your upper body, arms and hands can be seen. This will be more like a face-to-face meeting, which will allow a better mutual understanding and rapport.

3. Remove distracting backgrounds.

Hide distracting backgrounds, especially those things that move or make noises. Teams and Zooms both have functions that automatically obscure the backgrounds. This ensures that you and your body language will be the focus, not your cat.

4. Smile and be as expressive as you can.

Our facial expressions communicate huge amounts of visual information. So, it is important to be as expressive as possible. Smiling is enormously important because nobody likes a grump.

It is important to make good impressions and to do that, we must put our "best foot forward", but in this case, your "best foot" is your face. So put your best face forward.

5. Look directly into the camera.

When speaking, look directly into the camera as if it were the other person's eyes, because it is more engaging to listen to someone who is looking at you. We feel more connected.

So, place a picture of a friendly face, next to the camera, and when speaking, look directly into their eyes.

6. Dress up.

It is common for home workers to work in their "scruffs". That is a big mistake.

We are affected by how feel, which in turn is affected by our physical appearance. If we know we are looking a bit rough, then it negatively affects how we feel, and that negativity impairs our performance.

On the other hand, if we know we are looking good, then we feel great, and that positivity improves our performance.

Give them the best you've got.

Summary of my body language tips for virtual meetings.

Body language is an important element of communication, even when working remotely:

  1. Switch the camera on.
  2. Sit back from the camera and show your whole upper body.
  3. Remove distracting backgrounds.
  4. Smile and be as expressive as you can.
  5. Look directly into the camera.
  6. Dress up and put on a show.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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