The idea of a video conference call used to make me cringe. There are many things about it that are hard to get used to. Maybe you don’t feel like you look your best, your shirt isn’t the look you wanted to portray to your clients or your team. Maybe you are mildly interested in the meeting and would prefer to be able to tune out (you would never do that-I know) but, it could happen.
I am here to tell you, if you aren’t meeting face to face by video conference call- you are missing out!
I am part of a work group where we are constantly told, show up with video, no matter how you feel you look. Hair not washed, no makeup on- it really doesn’t matter. Even though we say it, people are hesitant. You sit there on a call and while you get to see everyone else, you are also seeing yourself! Let’s be clear, we are our biggest critics and you are the only person that will notice.
Here is what you gain personally when you do a call by video:
- Face to face meetings
- The capturing of expression and body language
- The ability to smile at one another, or show you are really concerned without words
- Better flow of when to answer and less overtalking by the visual experience
- Be more engaged in the meeting
Efficiencies of the video call:
- The ability to quickly and easily share what you are talking about on the screen
- The ability to look things up while on the meeting and share them
- There are apps where can connect your software to your outlook calendar for easy scheduling
The bottom line, I don’t care what you look like today- the meeting isn’t shaped by weather or not you put makeup on, shaved, didn’t shave, or you put a hat on your head. What does make a difference is the deeper human connection and efficiency of the video call. Once you get used to doing them, you will feel cheated if you only get a phone call.
Here are some tips I use for a last-minute video call:
- Have a standard spot that you use. Jump on a video meeting by yourself and look for a nice background. Anything that looks cluttered-remove it. Is the lighting decent? Are you showing something that you don’t mind the world seeing? I like to look out the window when I work but the video view was of my door. I have a cart that I roll over to create the space I want so I am not compromising my workspace as I want it.
- Give yourself a quick refresher. I know I am going to see myself for the duration of the meeting and I feel better with a bit of lip gloss on. If I wore a sweatshirt, I throw a scarf on. If you work from home, change to a shirt that’s a better color for you. If you don’t, again, no one will notice but you.
- Don’t apologize for the way you look. You look great- think of the alternative and know the meeting will be better because you showed up and that’s what I really want.
Here are some links to free video conference calling apps that I have used and enjoyed:
Don’t have a camera? No worries, you can do this from your cell phone. Or you can pick up an inexpensive camera at any major retailer starting at about $20: