Does talking to a webcam bother you? Here are some tips for smart working and video public speaking.
Spending many hours in front of a screen can be very tiring and annoying, even embarrassing if you have to participate in a web conference or talk during a webinar. Today, I will be giving you some tips to make the new frontier of agile work more natural.
How to position the webcam correctly?
Let’s start with ergonomics: position your computer so that your eyes are aligned with the webcam. If you have a laptop, you should lift it by placing, for instance, some books beneath it and use an extra keyboard to keep the right angle between your arms and torso. Use a footrest to lift the sole of your feet and keep legs relaxed slightly under the desk. Always keep a distance of about 50-70 cm from the screen. With all these measures and the right breaks, you’ll be able to increase your resistance!
The lighting should always be placed in front or to the side of your location and always be of moderate intensity. If the light comes from behind you, there will be too much glare and you will be obscured. If the light is above you, parts of your face will have dark shadows. If the light is too intense, even laterally you will be dazzled and the view of your face will not be uniform. You can rehearse with your webcam until you find your ideal location and, why not, you can also rethink your office’s layout!
Especially when you are sitting in front of a webcam, it is important to sit upright with your back, shoulders out and occupy the centre of the screen with your head at three quarters of the height. You should limit gesturing to avoid covering your face. I understand that it can be difficult, especially for Italians, but just do not move your hands too much in front of the webcam. You will be tempted to put your hand on your chin and lean. Try to resist and maintain your position as long as you can: You will look very confident!
You should dress as if you were going to work, in full, avoiding any blunders because you are dressed from the waist up. For instance, you may be so engrossed by the conversation and forget that you do not have a proper attire. Better to feel free and be able to stand up for a moment in case you need an object that is not within reach. You should also lock the door where you are working and wear a headset and microphone to isolate yourself and your listener. Doors are able to shut everything out!
What not to do
Sometimes we tend to use our smartphone and end up placing it below our face, placing it on the desk. The effect is devastating: you will look like a monstrous being looking at the person on the other side from above. Among other things, you will inevitably be obscured by the shadow of your own face on your smartphone. Well, we should better avoid it. Obviously, the best thing is to convey a sense of tranquility and equality especially considering that remote communication is more complex by definition.
Making a difference
When it is your turn, while you are talking, look straight into the webcam and not at the face of the other people connected on the screen, as you would normally tend to do. The effect will be very powerful, whoever listens to you will have the perception of being looked into the eyes, which is the most beautiful thing that can happen in communication. Of course, there is no need to do it when the others are talking, so you can relax.
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