Tip #831: How to Make a Poor Virtual Impression

“I believe that first impressions are very important.”  F.W. de Klerk

If you want to make a positive impression on a virtual platform, here are things you should NOT do:

  1. Sit far back from the computer screen so you seem detached.
  2. Not look at the camera so there is no eye contact.
  3. Look down at the camera so you seem aloof.
  4. Have clutter in the background.
  5. Not turn off email or other messaging applications.
  6. Not minimize external distractions.
  7. Check email during the conversation.
  8. Have lighting behind you or to the side, creating a shadow on your face.
  9. Allow sunlight, direct or reflected, to shine into the webcam.
  10. Wear black, white or bright colors that may reflect light.
  11. Wear thin stripes or busy patterns.
  12. Wear jewelry that may reflect light or make noise when moving.
  13. Wait to the last minute to call and log in.
  14. Assume that people can’t see or hear what you do before or after the session if you’re logged in.
  15. Not mute when there is background noise.
  16. Not turn on your video or ask the others to turn theirs on.
  17. Rush into discussion before making sure the other people can see and hear you well.
  18. End a sentence in a higher pitched voice, so it sounds like you are asking a question or are less confident.
  19. Show up late to meetings.
  20. Speak too fast so you sound garbled.
  21. Not talk when visuals are updating on the screen.
  22. Allow awkward silences when people are silently taking polls.
  23. Push to continue an online meeting when there are major technical issues, or the other person becomes frustrated.
  24. Be afraid to suggest rescheduling if noise or distractions at the other person’s end make the time unproductive.
  25. Forget to seek agreement on any follow-up steps, next appointment times, or open action items.
  26. Miss an opportunity to thank your clients for their trust in you.
  27. Book meetings so close together you don’t have a minute to reset and get centered before the next session.
  28. Not keep hydrated or use cough drops to sooth your throat, if necessary.
  29. Not ensure your devices are fully charged or plugged in.
  30. Not display empathy by asking the other people about themselves before talking business.
  31. Not be aware of your body language.
  32. Not add more inflection and pitch variety to your voice, so you sound flat or monotone.
  33. Not ask questions to encourage interaction or check for understanding.

What have I missed?

May your learning be sweet- and safe.


#virtualpresentation  #virtualpresentationdon’ts

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