If you’re still able to work during this pandemic, then you may be doing a lot of video calls. When meetings don’t feel as warm or connected as they used to it’s easy to blame the medium. But even in this digital age, the old rule still applies: don’t blame the tool; master the tool instead.
Of course, video calls aren’t going to be exactly the same as a meeting with real human beings in the room, but in a time where virtual meetings are all we have, we need to make them work. It doesn’t help to slump in front of your laptop or surreptitiously check your phone messages while others are talking.
If you want to make your calls livelier, think about imitating broadcasters, who know how to project energy through the lens and into the very pixels of the computer screen. Here are the three techniques you can use to improve the quality of your video calls.
Listening Feeds Speaking
What makes for a great video call? Simply stated, listening. When someone really listens to you and responds in the moment, you hear it in their tone of voice, you see it in their facial expression, and you can feel that they are understanding you.
Even though people know they should be listening to the video call, most people are only half listening because they think others can’t tell. Contrary to this belief, though, it’s apparent when people are not truly listening. They have a slight delay in their response or have a slightly flat intonation that says they aren’t fully there. This causes trust to vanish and participation to decrease.
The way to fix this problem is to fully focus. If you want to improve participation and connection in your virtual meetings, you have to make sure that your listening is as focused as if you were in the room together. Show up to your call fully present and engaged.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Another way to improve your video calls is to keep them short and on point so that everyone can fully engage. Follow an agenda, segmenting the content. Ask participants to keep their contributions concise and don’t let people run on for too long with their comments. Just as a great broadcaster does in a panel discussion, sum up and move on.
Speak Through the Camera, not at It
When you’re connecting through a lens, you need to up your energy and create the feeling that you are sending your energy through the screen and beyond. The best way to do this is to up your energy before the call by playing some upbeat music to sing along to. This will boost your energy and your voice.
When you speak on the call, sit tall and think of sending your voice to the back of the room you’re in, even as you look at the camera. This will give you power vocally and will help you to energize others. Another broadcasting secret is to smile while you talk so that your eyes show and your voice tone is lifted.