Embracing New Technologies: Videoconferencing Tips for Teachers and Presenters
If you find yourself spending several hours each day in virtual meetings, you’re not alone. Daily downloads of the Zoom app, for example, have increased 30x since this time last year, according to CNBC. Millions of people now rely on tools like this to interact with colleagues, prospect with new customers and clients, and even stay connected to family members.
My teachers at eSucceed Charter School know how important it is to be comfortable using this technology. They teach using a variety of different platforms every day during the school year!
You may be comfortable in front of people, but presenting to a screen raises its own set of challenges. We’ve all experienced awkward moments as people talk over each other, connections glitch, and important body language signals get missed. And who can forget the Good Morning America reporter who got only half-dressed for a TV appearance?
When presenting over videoconference, whether it’s one-on-one or to a very large group, keep these simple tips in mind:
Practice good posture by sitting up straight with your shoulders back and your feet flat on the floor. Not only will you look and feel more confident to your viewers, but you’ll reduce the bodily pains that come from sitting at a screen all day.
Make “eye contact.” This means not looking at yourself or the other person(s) on the screen, but right into the camera. It takes some practice but makes a huge difference in connecting with your listeners.
Gesture as you normally would, to look and feel more authentic. This might mean sitting back from the screen a little so your hands can be seen.
Check your audio and visual at the beginning of a call. Ask participants if they can hear or see you, and remind them to turn up their volume. When you speak, talk with good diction and volume so everyone can understand you.
If your other participants are not going to be speaking for a time period - or at all - ask them to mute themselves or use the mute function as the meeting host. Practice good etiquette by doing the same when someone else is speaking.
As we all navigate our newly expanded digital world, I hope you can embrace new technologies to connect with others. Let me know what you think of these tips!