Has this ever happened to you? You’re called in to join a meeting and when you step into the conference room—BAM—there’s your face on the TV screen along with your coworkers and clients. The surprise video conference is no fun...but then, many are averse to any kind of video conference.
But here’s the plain truth, though. According to Hubspot, 82% of all web traffic will be video by 2021. Add to that, advances in communications technological have made video conferencing more reliable and affordable than ever. So, like it or not, chances are you’ll need to be ready for your close-up at some point; whether its for a video call, a vlog or a corporate promo piece. But don’t sweat it. We’re here to help. Here are four things people fear about videoconferencing, and what you can do to alleviate the stage fright:
1. Fear of Public Speaking
Okay, so maybe you once botched a wedding toast, or got the hiccups during a school play, or erupted into a giggling fit while delivering a eulogy. We’ve all had a bad moment in front of the mic. Usually the problem is that most people think they can just “wing it” ...until it’s go-time and they realize they’re wholly unprepared to start talking. Preparation is everything with public speaking, and that applies to videoconferencing, too. Before your call, research what you’re talking about, have talking points written down and at the ready. Oh, and it never hurts to practice a bit beforehand to make sure you don’t get tongue-tied.
2. Can’t Multitask Without Getting Caught
We’ve all been on conference calls that are either boring or don’t involve us for long stretches. It’s a great opportunity to check your work emails, proof a report or text your spouse about whose turn it is to drive Katie to marching band practice, all the while interjecting a well-placed, “uh-huh,” “sure” or “you don’t say?” to prove to the group that you’re listening. With a video conference, you can’t do that. You need to stay present for the actual call. And our advice to that is...do it! Pretend it’s 1996, when you went to meetings with clients and gave them your full attention. You might find you enjoy concentrating on just one job priority for an hour. And maybe, just maybe, if you don’t reply, your spouse will decide to get Katie without your input (but probably not).
3. Afraid Something is in Our Teeth or Nose
We certainly hope you enjoyed that spinach salad you had for lunch. It’s kind of you to share a piece of it with us every time you smile. Yes, we’ve all experienced that embarrassing moment of having some food stuck in our teeth. In order to avoid this before a video conference, the restroom mirror is your best friend. Give a quick inspection. Rinse your mouth. Got floss? Put it to use. Give yourself a quick smile. There you go. You’re camera ready!
4. Self-Conscious of Our Looks
We all have some form of issue with our appearance or the way we come across on camera. Maybe it’s how your hair looks today, or the sound of your voice, or that you have no idea what to do with your hands while you’re talking. We have news for you. You’re not alone. We are all our own worst enemies when it comes to our looks and likely the people on the other end of the call are too self-conscious about their own hair, voices and hands to be thinking about yours. So, take deep breath, know you’re okay, and just focus on the call itself. You got this!
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