Many people don’t realize that communicating visually online is TV. People forget they are using a camera and projecting their image to others. The camera determines what others see and how they connect to you. They see less of you and the area where you are than in a face-to-face situation. Since it is TV, you have an opportunity to design and direct the focus of your audience. Knowing just a few techniques can turn a boring Zoom meeting into one where everyone feels they are engaged and interested.
The first question to ask is, “Do you know who you are talking to”? Do you know their self-interest when it comes to your topic? Every video or TV show is designed for a specific audience. Think about the TV shows or videos you watch. Why do you watch them? Usually, they contain something that attracts you, something that connects to your self-interest. Once we connect, it’s hard to turn away.
Next, you should consider what you are projecting to your audience. Yes, your audience. Even if you are communicating with one person, it’s still an audience. An audience who is receiving the messages you are sending. Therefore, you should design how you are communicating your messages.
Your messages are made up of both the words you say and how you say them, and the environment. All these elements carry a message to the receiver. They either add to your message or distract from it. We forget that the video and the TV we watched has been designed down to the last detail. Nothing is left to chance. Yet, many of us find ourselves online visually and treat it like we are communicating face-to-face. When we communicate in person, we see, hear, and see more than we do when we are talking into a camera. Many of the things we take for granted in person are not there once a camera is between the listener and us.
So, if it is TV, then design what you are doing for the medium you are using. It becomes even more critical if you are doing a business meeting visually online. Design your message, practice delivering your message at full energy before you deliver it. Choose an appropriate background for your audience. Make sure the lighting shows your face and doesn’t make you look dark or produce strong shadows on your face. When you are listening or talking, look directly into the camera and connect with your audience. Don’t be distracted by your audience’s video. Talk and Listen with the presence of mind and concentrate on what you say when you say it.
Although it is a computer and a camera, don’t be fooled, it is still TV. Apply these simple techniques, and the next time you communicate visually online, your messages will have impact and connect with your audience. The visual you project represents you, so make it the best it can be.
After all, it is TV!