Your body language in virtual meetings speak louder than you think!
Body language is an important aspect of communications and relationships. We use body movements or gestures to convey in a non verbal way subtle or unconscious movements.Philosophers and scientists have connected human physical behavior with meaning, mood and personality for thousands of years. The interpretation and study of body language is called kinesics and is gaining prominence in today’s world. My work as a detective made me a keen observer of human behavior and I am passionate about sharing body language tips in my training sessions.
The last few months have seen quick transition across corporate,institutions and industries.Virtual meetings have become a daily affair and though they lack the richness of physical interaction ,they are nevertheless here to stay. I instinctively look for body language cues and gestures that I notice in my online training sessions , and I put together a fast read with these 5 body language tips that could help you avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding. Understanding and using body language to good use can put people at ease, build trust, and draw others towards you, or they can offend, confuse, and undermine what you’re trying to convey.
Your posture speaks a lot about you.The last thing that anyone wants is to see you slouching on your chair. Seat yourself in a comfortable chair with your shoulders back and both feet on the ground. Avoid shaking your legs or fidgeting around as it will distract participants. Drooping shoulders, sagging in the seat, etc. reveal a feeling of depression and lack of interest. The distance between the webcam and you is the space you have, to create a great impression. Let your camera position show your torso and your arms. Leaning slightly forward shows that you are intently listening and is a positive sign of engagement. Face the camera and never sit at an awkward angle towards the side.
2. Know Your Tech
I included this one, as it affects the body language of a person when something goes wrong . As we are all aware we use a host of platforms for virtual collaboration. I suggest foremost get used to the software and monkey around a bit so you get comfortable. Be prepared for power outages, system crashes and the usual glitches we tend to come across. If you are in a tight corner , your body language can go drastically wrong from composed to messed up. Have a plan and a back up plan. Sweating it out on the other side of the camera can look very unprofessional. Place your camera at any angle that is at eye level and not up your nose. Arrange stuff ahead of a meeting so you do not have last minute panic attacks.
The human face is extremely expressive, able to convey countless emotions without saying a word. Facial expressions are universal and convey happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust. When it comes to the virtual meet you can easily see people exhibit facial cues that show they are inattentive, bored, annoyed, impatient, sleeping or angry. Most are not even aware that this dampens the spirits at a meeting. Staring stony faced does not exactly motivate people too. Learn to relax your facial tics . Here is one body language tip to ease anxiety, deep breathe a couple of times before you go on the meet. Learn to mange stress in the moment and remember to smile
The movement of the head plays an important role in oral communication. A light tilt of your head indicates that you are intently listening provided your eyes are open and alert. If your eyes are half closed it will be construed that you are falling asleep. No one is expected to keep on shaking his head, but appropriate nods and shakes of the head enhance the level of communication.
Establish good eye contact as it is a very strong non verbal cue,because it projects confidence, self esteem and assertiveness. The frequency of eye contact may suggest either interest or boredom. Our eyes tend to show happiness, sadness or even surprise. The lower part of the face can also express happiness or surprise; a smile, for instance, can communicate friendliness or cooperation; and brows and forehead could reveal anger.
Remember , you need to look into the webcam and not at the visual of the person on the other side of the camera. However, by staring at the webcam you may miss out on important visual cues the speaker is delivering on-screen. Adjust the distance you are sitting in relation to the webcam and it will be relatively better. As discomforting it may seem you need to get used to this. Practice pays!
5. Hand Gestures
Movement of hands and fingers enhances communication. When you go on camera, you need to keep in mind if you wave your hands too wide, your hands go out of the screen and can get annoying. On the contrary if you hands are too close to the webcam it can look pretty huge! You can use hand gestures but do not let it become the focus of your delivery. People tend to look at your hand movement and lose focus on what you are saying. Hand gestures are culture specific and universal but remember what is good in one culture can mean a different thing in another.For example , the thumbs – up gesture.
Hope you liked the article and look out for next weeks body language tips on dating!
Nice tips indeed!