For many of us, video calling is a very new phenomenon that we’re trying to get used to. On one hand, we have technical questions:
- How do they work?
- How much does it cost?
- How do I invite someone to a call?
- How do I get my microphone working?!
Some of us also have concerns about how to present ourselves on a video call, especially people who are using the technology for work and professional reasons. When we speak and communicate with our clients, customers, boss, colleagues, potential employer, students or whoever it may be, we want to have the same impact as we would in person in order to seal that sale, communicate important messages, teach, get a job and similar.
At face-to-face meetings we may have many ways to be impactful that are not available to us anymore. We could have utilised methods such as the way we shake someone’s hand, our body language or our dress code to make an impression.
In person meetings do have clear advantages over video calling, but we are all aware of the situation with Covid-19, which means we have to make the best of the tools we available.
I want to focus our discussion on posture because this is something that people can still observe about those that they are in a video call with. Our posture can give off many signals. For example, research suggests that slouching may be an indicator of low self-esteem. We obviously don’t want to be giving the wrong impression to those we communicate with, and with changes to posture alone you can influence how people perceive you. So what is the best posture to have on a video call?
The most ideal posture to have in a video call is to sit forward on your chair with both feet on the ground. Now let’s take a closer look at why.
By sitting forward on your chair, with a slight lean, you are implying that you’re listening, attentive and interested in what the other person has to say. These are the ideal building blocks to make a good impression on anyone. Balance is key, you want to avoid the look of being trapped in a photo-booth, but don’t want to appear too relaxed. Looking more relaxed than necessary could lead to others in the call thinking you’re not interested nor taking it seriously.
How much you lean is very important too. Lean too close, and you may just look like you’re from The Silence of The Lambs! Leaning backwards will look quite odd too.
It’s important to have both feel firmly rooted to the ground. This will reduce the chance impulsive shuffling and swivelling, and general unnecessary movement, all which could make you look fidgety.
I promise it really isn’t that complicated, all I’ve done is broken it down for you. Think about how you would sit in a traditional meeting – that’s essentially what you need to replicate! What we often forget when working from home or virtually is to go back to these basics, through no fault of our own as it is a new experience for the vast majority of us.
Try this posture in your next video call and observe the differences it can make.
All the best!