We learn young that riding a bike starts off a little off-balance and even a few scrapes and bruises. Because we get back on the bike after a fall, we soon are zooming around the neighborhood. It becomes a much more natural part of our everyday life. The truth is – riding a bike is not that difficult with a little practice.
There are a few helpful rules like “watch where you are going.” Wear a helmet. The bike may be an occasional personal way to play. It may become a way to go to work every day if you are a city commuter like my brother.
Videoconferencing is Like a Bike
The truth is – videoconferencing is not that difficult after a little practice. It does take some practice to become comfortable. We have clients who took the videoconference to work every day … even before that pandemic. The more they used it, the better they liked it as an effective tool.
If you can interact well in person, you are likely able to interact well on video. There are the same visual and vocal message queues that make in-person work better than audio-calls and email.
Humans have evolved to use two-way visual queues to connect with each other. To optimize that communication, the picture needs to be clear and well lite. Good lighting and good camera position are important.
Eye contact is important. Look at the camera. Like riding a bike – it takes practice. We cheat a little. We use teleprompters to allow us to look directly at the image of the person and the camera at the same time. You can purchase teleprompters for $100 to over $1,000. YouTube videos describe making you own very cheaply.
Breathe to Relax
Nervousness is natural when doing something new. Deep abdominal breathing helps calm the nerves and provide more oxygen to your brain to think more clearly, There are even apps for that … Taking five or ten minutes to breathe – it can do wonders for your day as well as the videoconference participation.
Focus on helping the other person feel more comfortable like you are hosting a party. When you focus on others more than yourself, you have more executive presence and it is easier to relax.
Clear and Concise
Crafting your message is always a good idea. On a videoconference, it is even more important. Look at the Other Persons’ Point of View (OPPOV ™ ) to choose the most important information.
Particularly in larger videoconference meetings, clear and concise communication stands out in a very positive way. It is important to speak up clearly in group meetings with a firm voice to reach the other participants.
With a little more practice and a few key skills – you can become natural.