Making a great first impression is paramount to business relations and with online meetings becoming the norm these days, there are a few additional things to think about when it comes to making a positive and lasting impression. Following on from our previous article on how to make a make the perfect first impression in a business meeting, here is how to make a perfect first impression when on a video call, regardless if it’s an interview, an internal weekly stand-up, or an external business meeting.
It’s important to be taken seriously by peers and business partners alike. Being composed under pressure and the belief to succeed are paramount. However, we all know how important first impressions are. The way a person carries themselves, their appearance, their demeanor…etc. all are contributing traits and factors that lead to a successful first meeting. The first impression is a lasting one even when conducting business through online meetings.
Before the video call
A messy appearance and unruly hair are a no go even when conducting a video conference. A sleek and well-maintained professional hairstyles like these ones from Schwarzkopf will go a long way to underline a professional attitude. A sleek low bun, chignon, or a classic ponytail are classic hairstyles that will work well within a professional business environment and help to convoy competence.
Dressing to impress
Even if the video call is from the comfort of your own home, avoiding major pitfalls such as being underdressed is essential. Getting ready and preparing as if the meeting were happening in person eliminates awkward online incidences. Sitting in front of the camera half-dressed will not only affect confidence but is also asking for trouble, the camera is on, and people are watching.
Although it’s tempting to not turn the camera on, it highly beneficial to have it on when in an online call. It helps to build trust amongst the participants and conveys a person’s personality. Being able to see colleagues and business partners is said to foster better interactions online.
Traditional business meetings tend to have a prelude, a small-talk phase just before the meeting starts. This helps the participants mentally arrive at the meeting and creates a sense of ease. Due to the obvious limitations of video conference calls this can easily be skipped, however it’s best to include those 5 minutes of non-business related conversation before starting the meeting as it can have a positive and productive effect on the meeting and first impressions.
Although it’s tempting to look at a person on the screen in front of you, looking straight into the camera instead will ensure that the participants perceive that you are fully engaged and listening. Research shows that eye contact is an inherent part of great communication and first impressions. Eye contact becomes even more important when we aren’t face to face. So looking into the camera is a must when on a video call with clients or colleagues.
Active listening is an essential part of creating a lasting good impression when on a video call. Visual cues and body language are of great importance. Positive facial expressions, head nodding, and audio cues are important in an online setting as participants are dealing with fewer communication variables than if they would be conducting the meeting in person.