We’re among the industry leaders in supplying telepresence and video conferencing solutions to companies around the world. So it caught our attention when we read a U.K. study that claims 39 percent of workers are reluctant to use video conferencing technology at work because of concerns about their appearance.
If your business is moving ahead with video conferencing tools such as AVI-SPL’s Caméléon Telepresence, there are a number of things you can do to become more comfortable with speaking to clients, partners, colleagues and other stakeholders face to face.
Know your material. If you’re giving a presentation, make sure you know your material backward, forward and inside out. You’ll have one less thing to worry about, and the confidence that results will translate through the camera and keep the focus where it should be – on the content.
First impressions count. This is especially true on a telepresence system, which shows images true to life. So make sure the area your camera sees is neat, attractive and clutter free. And refrain from the noisy shuffling of papers, which can be distracting to those on the other side of the call.
Relax. Being nervous is natural, but it doesn’t have to stop you from presenting yourself smoothly and professionally. Take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself that no one is rooting for you to fail.
Act the part. You’re a professional – present yourself as one. That means none of the disparaging, eye-rolling facial expressions that you might be able to get away with during audio conferences.
Practice makes perfect. Whether you’re giving a presentation or just participating in a video conference, rehearse in front a mirror or a friend, or record yourself on camera so you can make adjustments to your speaking style and body language. This will also give you the opportunity to hear how your voice sounds, and whether you’re speaking too quickly. The good news is that with a quality video conferencing system, you can speak in normal tone of voice.
Take some good advice. If your company is embracing video communications, chances are at least one person in your office is familiar and comfortable with it. Ask them how they got over their initial fears, and whether they have any tips or tricks they rely on when appearing before the camera.
Look your best. Whether talking with colleagues or clients, it’s important to dress for success. You’re dealing with a visual medium, so be well-groomed. And be sure to do all your primping before the video conference, not during! Fashion alert: Don’t wear busy patterns or bright, loud colors that can affect the appearance of your skin tone. Stick with light pastels and muted colors.
Be confident. Few things sell like confidence. Make eye contact with the people on the other end of the video conference call. And remember to smile!
If it’s the prospect of being before a camera that’s making you so fearful, just act as if the person is in the same room as you. With HD telepresence systems, that won’t be difficult!