Perfecting Eye Contact On Video Calls
Have you ever been in a situation where someone was avoiding eye contact with you? They will look left, right, up, down, but never actually at you?
When someone doesn’t make eye contact with you it can make you feel disengaged from the conversation. It can also make you feel uncomfortable.
You may start to wonder, why aren’t they making eye contact with me?
As listeners, were are cued into the body language of the person we’re speaking with. Whether we realize it or not, their body language can have an effect on us. We talk about the power of body language in our course Mastering Non-Verbal Communications. In this course, you’ll learn how to effectively use your body language to ensure your message is received the way it was intended.
It is important to maintain eye contact when engaging with others in person, and it is just as important to maintain eye contact on a video call as well.
Where to look on a video conference call
One of the easiest ways to improve your executive presence on video is through maintaining eye contact. The good news is, it’s an easy skill to learn!
Where you look while on a video conference call will depend on the type of scenario and meeting that you are in.
There are two different areas where you can shift your eyes depending on which kind of meeting you are in.
1. Informal Video Meeting
An informal video meeting is when you and others are on a call to discuss something as a group. Not one person has been designated to speak and everyone has an equal opportunity to chime in.
In a situation like this, you’ll be reading the participant’s body language on camera. Therefore, looking at the screen to observe others and what they’re doing is key.
In fact, looking at where people are and what they’re doing comes naturally to us. So in an informal video meeting, do what is natural and look at the screen.
2. Presenter – Only Speaker
If you are giving a presentation during your video call and are the only person speaking, where you look will be different and might feel slightly unnatural.
You will want to make sure you are looking at the camera lens and not directly at the screen.
Because everyone on the call will be focused on you, if you look at the camera lens it will appear as if you are looking directly at each person in the meeting. This also makes you appear more engaged.
Looking at the lens is a strong way to increase executive presence and authority. We go into a lot more detail about how to create and maintain an executive presence in our LinkedIn Learning course Executive Presence on Video Conference Calls. With nearly 1 million views, people are taking this course to level up on their video presence and communications.
Though subtle, your eye contact when you’re presenting can make a huge difference depending on if you look at the screen or into the camera lens.
The key is to know what scenario you are going to be in and adjust accordingly.
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