There is one thing that people are not doing that I see negatively impacting their online presentations, virtual meetings, etc. What is the one critical thing that a lot of people still aren’t getting right? Eye contact? Yes, eye contact from the time you’ve been a kid, you’ve been told you got to have excellent eye contact for people to understand that you’re having a conversation with them. So it is portrayed that you believe what they have to say is important, you’re engaged in the conversation, you’re present in the discussions, and this is generally done in person.
For some reason, people have forgotten this when we’ve gotten into online conversations. They don’t always pay attention to how their eyes connect with somebody who happens to be on the other side of the screen. So there are quite a few common mistakes. Oftentimes, people have their phones on the desk, or because the computer is on the desk and you’re taller than the computer, you’re looking down at the computer, you got the nose view, you’ve got all of these different things that are going wrong.
We want to talk about fixing that; I want to share with you a few things that will improve your eye contact and help you become a rockstar in your next virtual presentation or meeting.
The first thing that you can do to improve your eye contact in your virtual presentations, online presentations, and meetings is really simple. Start by recording yourself. Many people cannot maintain eye contact because they’re not comfortable with looking at the camera or looking at the lens and seeing themselves or seeing nobody on the camera; it becomes challenging for them to keep that focus. Make sure that you record yourself so you can become more comfortable talking on screen.
This next step is one of the more challenging things for people to understand or think about. When you have your camera set, you don’t want the camera just set at eye level, and you certainly don’t want to set below eye level. You want it set just a touch above eye level so that your eyes appear wider and you don’t look like you’re looking down on people. It also makes your face look brighter.
To improve your eye contact in virtual sessions, virtual meetings, online presentations, you can consider using a teleprompter if you need to. Teleprompters don’t necessarily have to be those big fancy ones that a president and other high-level officials use. Some teleprompters can be on your computer. They can be on your iPad, your tablet device, and teleprompters can also be on your phone. There is a great app called video teleprompter produced by Joe Allen. They helped me do more than just read the words that are on the screen. If I’m in a zoom meeting, I can use my camera through a teleprompter and still see the people that are in the zoom meeting; it also helps me to keep in contact with those in the meeting.
Don’t obsess over eye contact. And when I say don’t obsess, I mean, you don’t have to stare at the camera the entire time. There’s nothing wrong with sometimes looking away to do something or grabbing something you don’t have to worry about it. You may believe that people suddenly will end the meeting and leave you your meeting if you look away. Trust me; they won’t do that. What they want from you is connection. They want authenticity. They want you to be as natural as possible. And yes, they want to see your eyes too.
You can also find this post on https://robertkennedy3.com/how-to-maintain-better-eye-contact-in-virtual-presentations/ & https://robertkennedy3.medium.com/how-to-maintain-better-eye-contact-in-virtual-presentations-462145fb902f
For more tips on communication, leadership, and motivation, visit my YouTube channel on https://www.youtube.com/robertkennedy3.