Virtual presence

What do we really see when we observe you online?

Recently, I’ve been teaching quite a few virtual Presence and Presentation Skills workshops where we focus specifically on our virtual interactions, either by phone or via videoconferencing, and there has been a great deal of interest among the participants regarding the visual aspects of our online interactions. People recognized that they haven’t really paid attention to the non-verbal signals they’re sending out while working from home — good, bad or indifferent. There were numerous a-ha moments.

Since we always share our positive intentions for improvement in class, you might find it enlightening to hear some of their resolutions:

  • Adjust the height of my camera so people can see my whole face and not just my chin.
  • Sit up straight as opposed to leaning on my desk or my hand, especially when I’m presenting something.
  • Be sure my clothing looks professional even though I am at home. No more baggy tee shirts.
  • Adjust my lighting so my facial expressions are clearer.
  • Use more gestures so as not to appear so stiff.
  • Create a background that is uncluttered but still interesting. (One person working from their bedroom agreed that the bed should be made!)
  • Recognize that folks can still see me even when I’m not actively participating, so maintain a good listening posture.

I’ve written about virtual visual presence before, but it’s amazing how much more we’ve learned since going 100% remote in late March!

What have you noticed about people’s online presence? Any questions? Any tips? Click here to let me know.