Video conferences grow in popularity every day. More companies are using them and introducing first timers to the idea of a "video feed" while they make a presentation. The mere idea of this can be frightening. Most of us don’t like to be on display, and your standard sales or marketing manager probably isn’t used to the idea of being in front of a crowd of people. Public speaking is the number one phobia of the average American and a video conference adds an aspect that one doesn’t expect in an everyday conference.
I do a lot of demonstrations of products, so I’ve gotten used to the idea that I can end up on a video conference at any time. When I first started, it did scare me a bit. There are a million things that go through my mind, things that can go wrong, things I want to say. Don’t stutter, Maranda. Don’t stumble over the words. I’ve been doing these for over a year and I still sometimes get pre-game jitters. Here are three things that I do before a video conference that help me get focused.
- Believe in the Power of Confidence. Not just sounding confident, but looking confident as well. You are the leader of this conference and you need to sound and look the part. Remember that most people will make a judgment off of how someone looks, so dress for success. Look nice, smile, and remember that the first time is always the worst and it will get better as you go along.
- Minimize Your Video Feed. Don’t look at yourself as you go along. You can get distracted or start to destroy your build up of confidence by criticizing the way you look as you go along. Did I just make that face? Wow, what am I doing with me hands. Trying to change the natural flow of how you communicate can make you stumble, so don’t even look as you present.
- Practice Makes Perfect. Define your set up area before hand. What kind of tone do you want to set with your meeting? Where are you the most comfortable? Is there anything behind you that will be distracting to others or something that you don’t want others to see? A lot of people work from a home office, so be aware of anything that makes it more homey, like a pile of dirty clothes or a stack of children’s toys. Do a couple of run-throughs. Make sure your system is set up properly and that you look the way you want to on camera.
These are just a few suggestions that I have found work well for me when it comes to getting over the pre-conference nerves.
What do you do to make the prospect of a video conference a little easier for you?