How to Present on Video
“Words have incredible power. They can make people’s hearts soar, or they can make people’s hearts sore.” – Dr. Mardy Grothe
We have all been dealing with those little video boxes on our screen for a number of months now. People are looking at you in one of them.
How do you present yourself on live video? Are you slouching? Is your face deadpan? Are you talking too fast or too slow?
We will explore how you present yourself on live video by examining your posture, your facial expressions, and your rate of speaking.
Your posture is the first thing everyone sees as you connect to virtual platform you are using.
If you are sitting back, leaning to one side, or too close to your camera, you are presenting the wrong impression of yourself.
Body language is as important virtually and maybe more important than in an in-person format. Why? This is so because you only have maybe from your chest up in your video box to tell your story. And make no mistake. Your body language is still communicating to those in other video boxes.
Your posture when you are on video is greatly important. It communicates to other people in the session whether you are serious about what you are saying, whether what you are saying is important to hear, and, frankly, whether other people should listen to you.
The best posture is to sit up straight in your chair, put your shoulders back, and breath as you normally would.
Good posture is essential to communicating on camera. Your facial expressions also directly add to your communication on camera.
Your Facial Expressions
I am told sometimes that I don’t smile enough. Just what does a smile do to the person to whom you are speaking. It says the same thing whether you are speaking virtually or in-person.
Your smile tells the other person three things: (1) I accept you and are interested in what you have to say, (2) I am a friendly person and would like to get to know you, and (3) I am easy to get along with.
But sometimes you may want to convey something else to your audience. You may want to express concern or convey sadness or joy. All these emotions can be communicated through your facial expressions.
Someone viewing you in a small video box will have a more difficult time reading your facial expressions then if you were talking to him or her in person. For this reason, you must exaggerate your facial expressions so the person can correctly discern your intended message.
Your good posture and exaggerated facial expressions are essential to communicating on camera. The rate at which you speak will also have a major effect on engaging your audience.
Your Speaking Rate
In a virtual setting, the rate at which you speak will have great effect as to whether your audience is engaged.
The rate of which you speak is a communication tool you can use to keep your audience connected to your message. Changing your rate of speaking is very evident to your audience and can be used to emphasize different parts of your speech. You can speak quickly to express action. You can use a slower rate of speaking to portray something the audience needs to remember. You can use a normal rate of speaking to convey information.
When you start to change your rate of speaking in your presentation preparation, experiment with different paces of speaking at different points in your presentation. Change what feels uncomfortable and keep what feels right.
You need to realize that changing your rate of speaking at different parts of your presentation like injecting gestures in your presentation will feel awkward at first. However, gradually you will find the right rate of speaking for different parts of your presentation. Continual practicing will make these rates of speaking feel more comfortable.
Although using different rates of speaking is important in in-person speaking, it is even more important in virtual speaking because it is harder to keep the audience engaged.
So, use your speaking rate to make your presentation more interesting, to emphasize different parts of your presentation and to keep your audience engaged.
Good posture, exaggerated facial expressions, and varying your rate of speaking will have a major effect on whether your presentation is interesting, whether it completely conveys your intended message, and whether you keep your audience engaged.
Dorothy said to Toto, her dog, in the “Wizard of Oz” movie, “Well Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.” And you, my friend, are not in the in-person world exclusively anymore.
It behooves you to portray yourself in the virtual world the best you can.
Use the most of your 2” by 3” video box in the virtual world!
Call to Action
Make sure your posture is good when you are presenting in the virtual world
Exaggerate your facial express in the virtual world to ensure your audience gets your intended message
In the virtual world, vary your speaking rate often to keep your audience engaged
“The problem with speeches isn’t so much not knowing when to stop, as knowing when not to begin.” – Frances Rodman
DiBartolomeo Consulting International’s (DCI) mission is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence.
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