How many video calls were you on in 2021? 100? 500? 1000? Every business person deserves a big round of applause for consistently showing up on a medium that was, for most, not of their own choosing.
But let’s admit it, the bar was set pretty low.
Got your camera on? “Check.”
Find a spot where your family won’t wander in half naked? Umm…“Check.”
2022 will see the bar raised on what is acceptable – and successful – in terms of virtual engagement. While more people may have faced their fear of using video in 2021, the feeling of disconnect and disengagement persists. Virtual meeting fatigue drove many customers off camera entirely, and the reintroduction of face-to-face meetings provided a stark contrast of just how far virtual communications have yet to go.
If you’re ready to go beyond surviving and start thriving virtually, the first step is to eliminate these Top 10 video call mistakes.
Top 10 Video Call Mistakes of 2021
1. Failing to Look at the Camera
Many people know they should look at the camera, yet jump on any video call and what do you see? A lot of eyeballs staring at their screens! Eye contact is vital for building trust and relationships. But looking at a camera when a human face is right there is unnatural and counter-intuitive. So stop pretending you’re going to figure it out on your own and learn the skills you need to already!
2. Appearing Uninterested or Inattentive
I hear you scream, “But I am interested and paying attention!” Yet on a video call, here is what most people see on their screen:
Confronted with blank, inexpressive faces, little or no eye contact, and little room to speak, how can a customer possibly feel like you’re interested in them, much less care about them?! Learning how to listen and express yourself on video is vital for building virtual relationships. Find out more here:
3. Reading Body Language by Staring at the Screen
Surprise! You can actually read body language AND maintain eye contact with your audience through the camera. Peripheral vision allows you to see major movements or changes in your listener’s body language while keeping your eyes focused on the camera.
Start strategically applying this latent skill here.
4. Misinterpreting Listener Body language
It’s a fact. People behave differently in front of a screen or a camera. That’s why assigning in-person meaning to your audience’s on-screen behavior creates major panic and miscommunication on video. Improving your understanding of virtual behavior is a must-have skill for 2022. Get started with this quick video.
5. Freaking Out When Customers Are Not on Video
One of the consequences of virtual meeting or Zoom fatigue is that more people are choosing to turn off their cameras. Being presented with a blank screen can instill terror in even the most experienced salesperson! But believe it or not, you can connect easily and confidently with those who are not on video with a few of these 7 tricks up your sleeve.
6. Sitting on Their Hands
“What do I do with my hands on a video call ?” This is a question I am frequently asked. Properly used, gestures can build trust and bring your message to life. Find out the do’s and don’ts of gesturing in this article.
7. Not Making Enough Eye Contact
Yes, eye contact makes the Top 10 list two years running – because it’s that important! Most people vastly overestimate the amount of eye contact they are making on video calls. Relationship experts say there’s a minimum amount we need to make. Find out how much eye contact you’re making with this quick assessment.
8. Bringing the Wrong Energy
You probably heard the camera adds ten pounds. Did you know it also takes away a big chunk of your energy? That’s why it’s dangerous to strive for comfort on video (especially if you’re at home in your comfy chair!) Amp up your energy to keep your virtual audience engaged with this quick and fun acting exercise.
9. Floating Head and Other Framing Issues
How you show up on your customer’s screen is part of your first impression. A floating head view (cut off at the neck) reinforces the artificiality of the experience, while an extreme close-up is uncomfortably intimate for most business video calls. Position yourself in a Medium Close-up ( chest level with a fist-full of space between the top of your had and the edge of your frame) so your audience can feel like they’re talking to a real person and see your eyes and facial expressions. That’s why you’re on video in the first place, right?!
10. Too Much Talking; Not Enough Pausing
Being on video encourages a lot of people to talk in monologues rather than dialogues. Why? There’s a general fear of dead air. But if you don’t stop talking once in a while, you can add “losing your audience” to your list of fears! Read one way to cure this conversation-killing habit here.
Eliminating these top 10 video call mistakes is just the beginning. Resolve that 2022 is the year to master the art of connecting like a pro on video by checking out my new book that won the Gold Medal Top Sales book of 2021, Look Me In The Eye Using Video to Build Relationships with Customers, Partners and Teams (A finalist for Book of the Year by Top Sales World!). Feel free to check it out if you’re looking for more tips on how to engage customers and drive more sales on video.Get your copy today on Amazon!