Are you spending the bulk of your days on virtual meeting platforms? Just in case you didn’t know how important it is to dress for success, let this be a friendly reminder that people decide whether they like you or not in seven seconds and this applies to virtual meetings too! Face to face meetings provide added opportunities to demonstrate warmth and sincerity, however, first impressions on screen happen just as quickly if not quicker because your virtual presence is all there is!
Rule Number One – Smile! You know that old saying that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile? This is only one reason why it is important to smile on Zoom. A sincere smile lights up your whole face, demonstrates genuine interest and conveys happiness and lets your virtual meeting participants know you are happy to be a participant.
Rule Number Two – Lower your pitch! In a virtual meeting, your voice really stands out. Speakers with a higher pitched voice are thought to be nervous and less powerful.
In an article in Fast Company Patricia Peyton, award-winning corporate body language specialist states: “Proper projection, volume, and vocal flexibility help capture and hold others’ attention. Clipped vowel sounds and shortened words create the impression that we don’t care about others.”
One piece of advice I highly recommend is to record your own voice. Get really acquainted with how you sound virtually. If you really want to project confidence on Zoom, lower your pitch and slow down your tempo of speaking. You want to be clear, concise, and heard!
Rule Number Three – Positive and engaging body language on Zoom is critical to success. Remember, it is not how you are most comfortable in your working from home space for instance, it is how you are perceived and received by others. Even though it might be more comfortable to lean on your elbow, or cross your arms, do not do it! Posture is so important during virtual meetings. Slouching over makes you look less interested, not engaged and more importantly less confident. Remember, confidence portrays competence.
I simply cannot resist sharing this bonus. You know how important it is to maintain eye contact when you are speaking with someone. I always say I would never hire or do business with someone who cannot look me in the eye. The challenge virtually is, we cannot make direct eye contact with participants, so make sure you are positioned on your laptop or mobile device to look at the camera.
Your body language and tone of voice will have a much more positive impact if you take the time to be disciplined and focused and put your best self out there. Happy virtual meetings everyone!