Stop Doing This One Thing in Virtual Meetings
Have you ever looked at yourself in a mirror during an in-person meeting?
No? Then why would you do it in virtual meetings?
Stop doing this in virtual meetings.
I ask, because so many “experts” are advising people to place a mirror next to their camera or check their own image on screen to see if they’re smiling during a virtual call. Learn why you should stop doing this in virtual meetings. While seemingly harmless, this unfounded advice does three very dangerous things:
- It takes you completely out of the moment and places your focus on yourself, instead of the other person. As a seller, you need to be present for your customer and not spend valuable connection time thinking about how you look. Besides, seeing yourself in real-time onscreen causes most people nothing but grief. Who catches a glimpse of themselves and thinks, “Oh yeah, I look good!”? Almost no one. Instead, you lose your concentration and your confidence all in one fell swoop.
- Checking yourself also disconnects you from your audience. When you’re looking at the camera they know you’re focused on them, engaged and interested. When your eyes dart away, you’ve broken that connection and have to waste valuable time trying to reestablish it.
- Finally, most people can spot a fake smile a mile away. With your face merely inches away on video, you can bet your audience will detect the truth. Authentic smiles use more muscles than phony smiles and they are motivated by real feelings. If you are pasting on a smile just to look friendlier, more engaged or confident, that smile can’t be anything BUT fake because it’s not connected to a genuine feeling.
There are lots of benefits to smiling.
People who smile are perceived as friendly, approachable, caring – essential qualities for any relationship to take place. But if you’re in a virtual meeting and wondering whether you’re smiling or look interested or engaged, it is already too late! Like an actor, you need to be at peak performance before that camera goes on. Otherwise you are just warming up on your audience.
As a virtual communicator you need to learn how to activate those expressive muscles so your face supports what you’re saying or feeling. Many people have learned to be less expressive in business and those muscles are not always readily available without some preparation.
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To stay present with your audience, it’s also vital that you develop muscle memory so you know what it feels like to truly smile without checking yourself – and in turn, checking out. When you’re smiling fully, you should be able to feel the muscles in your cheeks move, not just the corners of your mouth. Unlike half-smiles, full smiles also require your lips to be parted. That means with a full smile you can feel the air on your teeth when you breathe in.
So put the mirror away, hide your image, and do the virtual communication pre-work so that when you are on camera you can take that focus off yourself and be fully present for your customer!
Learn how to quickly stop doing this in virtual meetings, build trust and avoid the 10 “Credibility Crushers” in virtual meetings, calls and recorded videos.