We have always been told about the importance of traditional body language when we hold a presentation or have an important meeting with someone. But today, we know that hybrid offices are here to stay and most of the meetings take place digitally. So, how do we communicate in the best way when we are behind a camera?
The traditional physical meetings are no longer held to the same extent. Microsoft’s Teams communications and collaboration platform topped 270 million monthly active users in December 2021 and continues to increase. Other common digital communication channels are Slack and Zoom which are used worldwide. Nowadays, most of our meetings take place through a screen from different places. It’s no longer unusual for one colleague to work from Spain while the others work from their country house. Digital body language is as important as our traditional face to face body language. The purpose is to connect, create trust and make your message clearer. And these skills are much more difficult to translate across a screen.
What is body language?
Body language refers to all forms of human non-verbal communication, conscious as well as unconscious. You can read a lot about a person through body language. You can examine certain signs on someone’s personality, attitude, and habits by studying their body language. A common sign of nervousness is, for example, when a person stomps a lot at the same place or moves their hands uncontrollably. But there are also several positive outcomes when you know how to strengthen your body language. For example:
- You will be comfortable using your entire expression in a natural way
- You strengthen credibility, commitment, and contact
- You clarify your message
- You strengthen your ability to reach out and be listened to
How to strengthen your body language through a screen?
In a study from Stanford University, researchers have examined how the increased proportion of video meetings affect us. The result was that body language is just as important when we meet through a screen as in reality. But how do you really know that you have effective non-verbal communication in virtual meetings? Here are six things to check off:
- Is your phone on silent mode?
- Do you have your camera placed at eye level?
- Are you using hand gestures while speaking?
- Are you making eye contact with your participants?
- Are you asking for input and making sure there is clarity?
- In the end of meeting, does everyone know what to do?
If these points are checked, then you know that your body language will emerge to emphasize your message.
Source: Forbes, Technology, Mind, and Behaviour.