Many office workers are now accustomed to working from home. Most people are comfortable with the daily grind of walking down the hall to their temporary or temporary office/workspace. Many remote workers are now wondering about the future of their jobs as the Tampa Bay area prepares to slowly reopen non-essential small businesses. They are unsure if they will be allowed to work from home, or if there will be a hybrid solution. Even though it has been a year since the first time they tried working remotely, there are still unique challenges.
Recent research has shown that people feel self-conscious even after years of being on camera and hearing their voices in virtual meetings. Virtual office services in Tampa have proved to be a lifesaver for many companies that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are eight tips to make your Zoom calls more confident, since it is impossible to predict when offices will reopen.
Lights, camera, action! Before you start a Zoom meeting, make sure that your camera is ready. Your position in front of the webcam can make a huge difference in how you look on camera. Your posture should be upright, and the computer or camera screen should be at an upward angle. This will make your appearance more authoritative, but also more approachable. It will also hide any imperfections you may have that might be more obvious on the screen. This will allow you to breathe easier and make it look more authoritative.
To maintain calm, cool and collected, take a deep breath or as many as necessary. You should have digital or handwritten notes if you are asked to present a virtual presentation. This will allow you to refer to the material without being obvious, and keep you on track.
To calm your nerves, do some relaxation and breathing exercises before each session. These are some of the most common relaxation breathing exercises:
- Box breathing
- Belly breathing
- 4-7-8 Breathing
These are some ideas to try next time you feel stage fright before your virtual meeting.
You can avoid getting tongue tied while speaking in a virtual meeting by doing vocal exercises before you speak. Tongue-twisters can help you relax your vocal chords and avoid stumbling over your words. They can also be a distraction that can help you relax so you don’t feel stiff or nervous during meetings.
You don’t have to be embarrassed to show off your pearly whites in a virtual meeting. However, you should smile directly at the camera and not at the screen. Keep in mind that the screen is directly above the camera so if you smile directly at it, it will appear you are looking down at your colleagues. Make sure to brush your teeth before you go to a virtual meeting. This will ensure that you have a bright, clean smile. Fresh breath can make you more confident and better equipped to handle any virtual task.
When you speak to someone, don’t be afraid of looking them in the eyes. You subconsciously communicate to people that you are in control of the situation. Even if it’s not easy to feel confident at the moment, asserting yourself in a calm, productive, and respectful manner can help others believe that you are.
Your body language onscreen is as important as your body language in person. It can tell a lot about you. People will feel more comfortable with you if they have eye contact. This allows you to be more authoritative without stepping on any other’s toes.
Zoom offers a variety of funny, silly, and cheeky backgrounds that will add humor to your virtual calls. These backgrounds are not appropriate for professional meetings with employees and clients. If you and your coworkers are not a tight-knit team and are only arranging for a casual chat, then leave the virtual backgrounds off of them.
You can give off a professional look on camera by choosing a quiet area of your home to place your laptop or computer for virtual meetings. You can use a plain white wall or bookcase for this purpose.
The many aesthetic and practical advantages of elevated computer stands can make you feel more confident in your Zoom meetings. They force you to sit straighter, so you can see directly at the screen and camera. This improves your posture. They also prevent you from looking down while you type or do other tasks in the meeting, which can help you avoid the double chin syndrome.
Even if your chin isn’t naturally doubled, looking at your computer from the side can make it appear like it. After a while, pointing your neck down can lead to physical strain which can increase your stress levels. It’s easier to have a conversation with colleagues if you sit upright. This also reduces neck strain.
It’s a common saying that you should dress for the job you want. You can wear a nice blazer and a simple top underneath, and you can do your hair and make-up just like at work. You don’t have to wear your pajamas or sweatpants because no one will be able to see you below the waist. You won’t be noticed if you don’t stay seated throughout the meeting.
This post was written by Tara Kintz. Tara is a director at Signature Workspace which is a work space rental. Signature Workspace, owned and operated by Cantor Fund Management, offers services and amenities such as private offices, flex space, co-working space, virtual offices, meeting/conference rooms, and more.