How to Improve Your Presence at a Virtual Event
When meeting or communicating with someone virtually, it’s important to ensure your impact is memorable for all the right reasons! Here are 8 suggestions:
1. Location, Location, Location – Pick a location that provides a good background without having clutter or distracting elements like moving objects in view.
2. Compose the Frame – Ideally your entire head and the top of your shoulders should be in frame. If your torso is visible, you’re too far from the camera and if part of your head is not in view, you’re too close. Adjust your seating accordingly to make sure only your head and shoulders are in view.
3. Focus on Your Camera – Practice looking at your camera when speaking so it gives the illusion of making direct eye contact with your audience. Don’t look at individuals, instead look into the camera and speak. It may take some practice as we are always told to look into the eyes of a person when speaking. In this scenario, the camera is the eyes.
4. Find your Strongest Voice – To be clearly audible, make sure you speak clearly and a little louder than normal. Don’t shout but use a more forceful voice to prevent you from mumbling or speaking too rapidly thus making it easier for the listeners to understand you.
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5. Be Present and Mindful – It can sometimes be tempting to do other things while you’re at a virtual event or meeting but please refrain from doing so. While you are distracted doing something else, you may miss something and be caught unprepared if you are asked a question or asked for input on a topic.
6. Don’t Take Over the Mic – Give everyone a chance to participate and don’t ramble on or speak for too long. Also avoid interrupting someone who is speaking. Wait till they are done or ‘raise your hand’.
7. Avoid Distractions – In general avoid moving from one room to another but if you have to do it, make sure you turn your camera off. Similarly if eating, the others don’t need to see you chewing so turn off your camera. In the same manner, get into the habit of muting your mic when you’re not speaking to avoid any background noise becoming a distraction to the rest of the audience. If you’re connecting from your house, don’t forget to keep kids and pets occupied away from your ‘work space’ to avoid any embarrassing distractions.
8. Make Use of the Chat Option – Using a virtual platform may be new for some people but along with visual and audio, use the Chat window for sharing documents or a link to the agenda so others can refer to them too. Avoid using the chat for inane things like saying ‘hi’ during a virtual event or business meeting.