How body language can impact your video calls, meetings, and interviews
During the pandemic, businesses have leapt to working from home. There has also been a shift in how they're having their meetings too. They're going virtual, and it's working fantastically! With this in mind, it can be expected that this method of meeting, interviewing, and calling is here to stay.
There's an everyday familiarity with how to communicate in a meeting room. It's on TV and in movies. We know that in an interview, we should put our best self forward. With video calling and virtual meeting spaces, we're put on display, but in the comfort of our homes.
There's a common factoid that comes up when talking about communication. Only 7% of communication is the words you say, and a significant portion of the remaining 93% comes from body language. Since you're on camera, all the usual visual cues are being communicated the same as if you were in person.
Since your vocal tone and body language, even your gestures and eye contact, are critical to building meaningful connections, there are several things you need to be conscious of during virtual meetings.
Be on video
Being on camera can be uncomfortable, but the main benefit of virtual communication is being able to see who you're conversing with. It's no longer enough to dial in. Video helps form a closer connection with those you're calling. Plus, we want to see all of those visual cues. So, video is a must. It even helps the receiver feel that they aren't being ignored – they can see you listening.
Eye contact is critical
Sharing video is the first step, but eye contact can be the most impactful step. Try to make eye contact as frequently as possible. Paying attention to the speaker is essential. Even watching your manager's face can provide useful insight, but allowing others to see your eyes directly has some exciting benefits. If you smile during the process, even better! Smiling at ourselves, boosts serotonin levels, and smiling at others increases oxytocin. Getting a smile back boosts dopamine, so in one tip, you're getting the trifecta of feel-good hormones!
Posture says a lot
Whether you're sitting or standing for virtual meetings, no one should be able to tell. You're up close to the camera, so no one can see precisely how you're sitting or standing, but posture can still be seen. You want to appear present, confident, and engaged. Plant your feet firmly on the floor and sit near the edge of your chair to ground yourself. Relax and open your shoulders, so you appear and feel more confident. If you enjoy standing for your meetings, you don't have to worry about being on the edge of your seat.
Body language is as critical in person as it is over video calls. We can see all the same cues as before, but we may have to check in with ourselves more often in a relaxed home office. Tuning into your eye contact and posture will speak volumes for you, even if you don't have to talk at all on the video call.