The importance of eye contact in video conferences

Tuesday, May 28 2013

Using video conferencing software requires more than technical expertise because there is also a special set of behaviors that meeting participants must adhere to during their electronic gatherings. Specifically, professionals must find ways to maintain eye contact while still watching their screens.

According to a report from the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University, eye contact is critical for enhancing business relationships, particularly between sales representatives and potential clients. Additionally, looking into someone else's eyes creates a professional appearance.

Inc. Magazine explains that you have to look at your camera to create the illusion of eye contact during digital meetings. When you look at an attendee's eyes on the computer screen, he or she you will think you're looking down, possibly at other content or a different device. As a result, you'll seem distracted and unprofessional so the meeting likely won't go well. 

Only look at your computer screen when you need to view visual aids or want to ensure that the other participants are actually paying attention. The rest of the time, you should look into your webcam to create digital eye contact. Practice this technique before your next video conference so you'll feel comfortable.