Where to look when video conferencing

Thursday, September 30 2010

Video conferencing is a relatively simple and intuitive technology that has helped many businesses save money - and the environment - by eliminating the need for travel. There is one interesting tip, however, that all video conferencing businesspeople should know: where to look during the conference.

It seems simple enough, but actually, knowing what to do with your face, hands and body during a video conference can be a little confusing. Video conferencing is just like having an in-person meeting, except that the person on the other hand can't see much more than your face and neck. In trying to come across as friendly but professional, many businesspeople make the mistake of looking directly into the other person's eyes.

It's intuitive to try to make eye contact with the other person during a video conference, but actually, looking at the image on the screen will result in the other person seeing you as looking down, or off to the side. The best place to look during a video conference is at the camera lens - doing so will give the impression of eye contact.

Of course, it's also important to be sure that you occasionally glance at the other person's face, especially while they're talking. Nonverbal facial cues are important to communication and a smile can change the whole meaning of a sentence, so don't neglect faces by staring only at the camera lens.