Conversations are something that we as humans are very good at, and the rate and efficiency at which two people can share thoughts, opinions or ideas is proof enough.
However, conversations via live video feeds are, while being similar, not the same as physical conversations, which is why we are here to offer some great tips on how to act natural and get the most out of each online discussion or meeting.
How the Camera Affects our Behaviour
Although it does seem odd, we as humans behave differently when being recorded, compared to simply being seen by other people. This is because we understand that camera recordings can be reviewed and re-watched many times over, and your actions may be more harshly judged by those who are viewing the recording.
As such, it’s important to realize that the camera will make you feel more self-conscious, and may completely change the way you behave. Understanding this will not only help you feel more comfortable with being on camera, but can also help you overcome many of the unique challenges that being on camera presents.
Backstage recently shared an article on how to act natural as a resource for actors, although even within more personal settings these tips can help. The trick is to primarily get comfortable with seeing yourself, after which you can identify which actions or behaviour was unnatural.
So try recording yourself and reviewing the tape, so that you can have first-hand experience of how you might be perceived. After this step, all you need to do is practice, so as to grow accustomed to the feeling of being on camera, and possibly discover more about how others achieve the natural look when they are the centre of attention.
If you can master the art of acting natural, nothing will hinder your ability to communicate thoughts, opinions and ideas to your colleagues, supervisors or clients.
Distractions are Far More Apparent on Camera
Another difference between communicating via live video and physical conversations is that distractions are far more obvious.
Whether you are being distracted by something else in the same room, or have bright lights and background noise that is distracting other attendees, they seem to be emphasised during a video call or conference.
So take some times to consider everything that might be a distraction and remove it, so as to avoid wasting time or reducing the effectiveness of the meeting.
Distractions include animals or pets coming into the room if you work at home, background noises like traffic or construction, faulty contrast settings on the camera or even just a bad lighting within your room.
These, while you may not notice them yourself, can immediately draw the attention away from important matters and topics of discussion. So ask a friend or colleague to help you pinpoint these problems so as to ensure the best conferencing conditions.
You may also choose to invest in a quality video conferencing solution so that your equipment will never be the cause of unnecessary and time-wasting problems.
Etiquette is Vital for “Turn-Based” Conversations
In physical conversations, it’s easy to both talk and listen at the same time, since you can enjoy perfect clarity in terms of both visual and audio cues.
However, within an online conference call, this becomes much more difficult, and attendees may have to allow each other turns to speak so as to avoid confusion.
As such, it’s even more vital in online discussions to remember proper speaking etiquette, to avoid interrupting others, and ultimately making the entire session far more enjoyable and productive for each attendee.
Another reason why etiquette is so important in online conferences is because attendees’ audio inputs may vary in volumes, and if two people are trying to talk at the same time then whoever is loudest, or has the most sensitive microphone, can overpower the other.
Remember to Speak Clearly
In a typical conversation, you have your face and body to help you communicate clearly, affording you the opportunity to mumble at times or not clearly enunciate every word.
In an online setting, however, you need to clearly pronounce every word, since you can’t complement your words with strong body or facial language.
This is especially important if your equipment is not top quality, as Home Life Abroad explains, as static or slight breaks in connectivity could easily cause your words to become jumbled or unclear – which can waste precious time as people ask you to repeat yourself or speak slower.
So next time you are invited to join an online video call or conference, remember these fine tips to ensure that you and your words are clear and understandable.
And while there are many similarities between face to face and camera conversations, there are a few more aspects that you need to consider when communicating via videocasting feeds.