So you’ve finally gotten the hang of this whole remote work thing. You’ve familiarized yourself with the features of your video conferencing and collaboration solution. You’ve settled into a work-from-home routine that works for you. Now it’s time to refine your skills. Effectively communicating with colleagues via video requires a host of techniques and considerations that aren’t exactly organic. So let’s take a look at a few things you can be doing to keep your work connections healthy and strong.
Watch and Listen
Too many people think it’s perfectly acceptable to give video conferences a fraction of their attention. You know these people. You’ve seen them. Don’t be one of these people. You’d never let your attention stray like that during an in-person meeting, would you? There’s no reason to treat a video conference any differently.
More Than Words
What you say during a video conference is important, but how you say it is just as crucial. Effective communicators utilize non-verbal cues to convey subtleties of thought and intent that words alone cannot capture. This physicality of speech comes more or less naturally when we are speaking to colleagues in “real life.” Many people find it difficult to replicate such spontaneity during a video conference. Practice makes perfect. Be aware of how you are using your body while you speak. It might feel strange at first to consciously employ techniques that are automatic in other settings, but give it a little time. Soon you’ll be just as charismatic on screen as you were in the office.
Make Eye Contact With The Camera
Making (and maintaining) eye contact isn’t always easy, not even in familiar settings with people we know and trust. It is one of the more intimate aspects of communication, and if you’re even a little bit shy or self-conscious, it can be a challenge. Video conferencing compounds the awkwardness due to camera placement. To properly simulate eye contact, we must address the camera, which hovers a few inches above the person to whom we are speaking. It might not feel natural to address the cold eye of your camera, but if you look at the faces on your screen, you will appear to your listeners as if you are avoiding their gaze. It’s a little challenging to have to relearn the rules of eye contact, but it’s a small price to pay for making your colleagues feel seen and heard.
Content Isn’t King
The content-sharing capabilities of mobile conferencing solutions like StarLeaf Cloud make it easier than ever to collaborate across distance. While it is super easy to share files and screenshots, that doesn’t mean you should indiscriminately flood your video call with visual aids. Use this tool only when you really need it. Otherwise, the crux of your presentation will get lost in the mix, and people will come away from the meeting wondering what they were supposed to get out of it.
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