The first and perhaps most important thing to look at, is your own presence on screen. The best here is if you face the camera straight on, with good light on your face and your image showing from the waist up, so that we can see your facial expressions well and also what your hands are doing. Distracting virtual backgrounds are not helpful. And remember that eye contact on screen means looking straight into the camera, not at the people on the screen. It feels wrong at first to you, but it feels to those you are talking to that you are connecting with them when you look straight into the camera and isn’t that the most important thing?
The biggest disconnect we have online is that others in the room cannot hear or feel our emotions. When we are together, the gentlest of laughs can change the atmosphere in the room. In cyberspace there is only silence, or the voice of the person speaking. I therefore started teaching my clients to use sign language to show their emotions. We are after all in a zone where we cannot hear each other.
Do you know what applause looks like, and what it should look like? Instinctively we have simply mimicked online what we used to do in groups. We clap our hands. It’s highly ineffective in virtual space. Next time try “jazz hands”, the way deaf people applaud. It’s a party! It’s a celebration! It brings smiles all around!