7 tips for better body language on-screen
In the late 1960s, behavioural psychologist Dr. Albert Mehrabian concluded that over 50% of communication is nonverbal.
His work revealed the importance of body language in human communication. We send each other messages constantly, giving insights about our emotions, opinions, level of interest, and much more.
1. Make a strong start
Heidi Bannister, Arthur Edward founder, says “In face-to-face meetings, we know to shake hands, to make eye contact, to smile and speak clearly. Virtual first impressions are every bit as important, so think carefully about how you come across when you first appear on-screen.”
2. Set the scene
A messy or cluttered background looks unprofessional. If you can’t arrange a well-lit, tidy backdrop for your call, then use background blur or a virtual background.
Never take part in an online meeting with your camera turned off, unless everyone is doing so. It makes people uncomfortable, and looks like you have something to hide!
3. Look them in the eye
Position your laptop or device so you are looking straight ahead, into the camera. This mimics direct, eye to eye contact. Prop up your device if it’s handheld to avoid wobbly movements as your arm gets tired or you shift in your seat.
4. Use natural gestures
We use gestures as we talk, and in fact sitting absolutely still makes us look stiff and uncomfortable. Try to relax your shoulders and let your hands and arms move as normal. Allow some space around your body on-screen so your gestures can be seen in full, as in real life.
5. Actively and visibly engage
At any time, slumping in your chair or gazing around will make you look disinterested, so sit upright and lean slightly toward the screen.
In conversation we smile and nod as people speak, often tilting our head slightly to show we are listening. Doing this on-screen sends positive feedback signals to others in the meeting.
6. Don’t fiddle
Many of us fiddle without realising it, and on-screen movements can be distracting. Watch yourself on screen and you may be surprised how often you rearrange your hair, push up your specs or touch your face.
7. Follow their lead
To establish a connection in conversation, we instinctively mirror the other person’s posture and gestures, and adopt their talking pace. These tactics work on screen too, and can be used to your advantage.
Our recent Director’s Cut Report revealed that 73% of Leaders in the beauty, cosmetic and personal care industry expect to manage first interviews remotely in future. Watch our video to help you prepare.
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