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If you’re like most people, you’re spending a lot more time in video conferences than ever before. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you want to make a good impression, you’ll need to prepare responsibly.
Fortunately, there are several inexpensive and simple strategies that can help you do it.
The Importance of a Good Impression
Let’s start with an explanation of why it’s so important to make a good impression in video meetings. Any psychologist can tell you a first impression is vital to starting an important relationship.
If you’re meeting someone for the first time in a virtual context, it’s essential that you present the best possible version of yourself. If you’re successful, you’ll be seen as more confident, more competent, and even more trustworthy by the people you’re meeting with.
Your performance in a video meeting also reflects on your abilities, even if they’re unrelated to the technology space. If you can’t be trusted to stream a high-quality video to a captive audience, what else are you capable of overlooking?
How to Make a Positive First Impression
Now for the key strategies necessary to help you make a better impression in video meetings.
1. Upgrade Your Furniture
First, upgrade your home office furniture by shopping with a high-quality online furniture store. If you speak articulately and authoritatively, that should be enough to make most people happy.
However, there will always be people in your audience judging you based on your surroundings. If you have a short chair, a shoddy desk, or furniture that looks like it came from a thrift store, it could be a bad look and give off the wrong impression.
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2. Invest in a Better Webcam and Microphone
Most modern laptops, smartphones, and other devices come equipped with a built-in camera. However, this might not be enough to broadcast your first impression in the best light. Also, check your resolution and upgrade your camera if it means presenting a better image.
While you’re at it, consider upgrading your microphone. A better microphone with a good filter can make sure your voice comes in clear and in high definition, no matter the circumstances.
3. Invest in Lighting
A good camera is a great start, but if you want people to see you more clearly, you’ll need to invest in better lighting. Bright yet indirect light can ensure your face comes through clearly without suffering from too much of a shine and make a great first impression.
4. Think Carefully About Your Backdrop
What’s behind you? Many people choose to set up a bookshelf with plenty of on-topic books. This is a great look, but it’s not the only possibility. You might also use a chromakey backdrop and customize your own background to suit the situation. Just make sure whatever you choose is simple, polished, and professional.
5. Dress for the Occasion
Just because you’re only partially in the frame doesn’t mean you can wear whatever you want. It’s important to dress for the occasion, erring on the side of overdressing to make a good impression.
6. Practice Good Posture
Work on your posture as well. Sitting up straight and looking directly into the camera can make you look and feel more confident. Also, as an added bonus, if you practice this regularly, you can improve your physical health outcomes dramatically.
7. Clear Up Bandwidth.
Before jumping on your video call, clear up your bandwidth by pausing other activity (such as streaming music or other videos). This can help ensure your broadcast is uninterrupted and that it maintains the highest quality.
8. Be Wary of Interruptions
On a video chat, timing delays, technical hiccups, and lack of physical proximity can make it difficult to maintain a normal conversation. It’s painfully easy to interrupt other people when they’re speaking. Do your best to wait for gaps in the conversation to jump in, and make it a point to give other people the platform when necessary.
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9. Double Check Your Settings
Before starting the call, check all your settings. What is your display name? What video and audio quality are you viewing? Is your meeting set to public or private? You don’t want any nasty surprises later that could ruin your first impression.
10. Prepare Your Attendants
Similarly, it pays to prepare your attendants. Ideally days before the call, send your attendants any information they’re going to need for the call. Make sure to include the topics of discussion and how to access the tech you’re using.
11. Do a Test Run Before the Meeting
Finally, do a test run moments before starting the actual meeting, just to make sure everything is working as intended.
So, some of these strategies can be achieved with a simple purchase. Others are going to require your ongoing effort and attention. But if you can address all of them, you’ll end up commanding the virtual room and making a better impression with just about everyone you chat with.
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