In the Workplace: Mastering Video Communication
By Greg Simpson on March 7, 2014
As wireless communication and video technology continue to evolve, today’s workplace is changing dramatically. An increasing number of businesses are using videoconferencing to boost collaboration. Organizations are turning to video and online streaming as a cost-effective means to conduct virtual conferences, training sessions and interviews. In the midst of all this change, have you thought about your own video presence?
Today, well-qualified job seekers and employees who are unprepared to present themselves via recorded or live video may be overlooked for opportunities. Even individuals with excellent communication skills require deliberate practice and self-evaluation to develop a level of comfort in front of a camera. As technology advances, innovative applications for the use of video in the workplace will continue, underscoring the importance of developing a confident video presence for job search and career success.
Here are six tips for mastering a professional video presence:
- Set the stage. Position yourself in front of a plain (but not white) wall or a neatly organized bookshelf. The room should have plenty of natural light and/or warm artificial lighting from the front.
- Dress for success. Determine the attire that is appropriate for company videoconferences. Just because you may be home, your attire shouldn’t be too casual. For interviews, wear what you would for a traditional, in-person meeting. For both men and women, darker suits with solid-colored shirts are best on camera.
- Don’t look down. Practice with friends until you can look into the camera and not down at the computer screen. Position your monitor or laptop on a few books until you can comfortably establish eye contact.
- Use body language to your advantage. As in a face-to-face meeting, nonverbal communication conveys most of the message, so sit up straight, smile, and keep your head, shoulders and hands in view.
- Test for technical difficulties. Ask your practice partner for feedback on the visual and audio quality and make any necessary adjustments.
- Practice improves performance. Have video chats with friends and colleagues and then ask for feedback on your communication style and any technical issues. Don’t try to “wing it.” There’s too much at stake.
As technology advances, innovative applications for the use of video in the workplace will continue, underscoring the importance of developing a confident video presence for job search and career success. For more information on emerging workplace trends, check out Lee Hecht Harrison’s 2014 Job Market Perspectives.
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