Learning how to appear more confident in meetings can help you get noticed and project a more polished and professional presence. It’s even harder to look confident and maintain a powerful presence in virtual meetings.
But to get the most out of them, it’s important to know how to elevate your presence when you’re meeting remotely.
It’s not always easy to look confident and get noticed
When coaching professionals on how to get and grow in project management careers, people come to me with a diversity of topics. One topic was how to appear more confident in meetings. My client felt invisible and insecure. She wanted to make a great impression and get noticed for the right reasons. We discussed concrete action steps for how she could do this. And she reported back that she used these tactics successfully in her very next meeting.
But this can be even more challenging in virtual meetings. How can you have a powerful presence when you’re only a voice on a phone or a small picture among many on a screen?
Why It’s Important to Show Up Strong in Virtual Meetings
Meetings are of course an event created to meet a desired goal. But they’re also an opportunity for you to make an impact.
Virtual meetings give you the opportunity to meet with even more people from around the globe. You can meet face-to-face easily without having to travel long distances or spend money on airfare.
And elevating your presence has positive results:
- It can make you look more professional.
- You can get noticed by others to build your network
- It’s an opportunity to connect with people you may not otherwise meet.
These tips will help you project a more powerful presence in virtual meetings.
How To Appear More Confident In Online Meetings
If you want to know how to appear more confident in virtual meetings, these tips will help. This can help you get the most from the meeting and boost your career.
1. Dress appropriately.
If you feel uncomfortable wearing certain clothes, don’t wear them. Do wear attire that’s appropriate for the type of meeting you’ll be attending. If you want to appear professional, don’t wear worn-out t-shirts or strappy tops. This doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit. Simpy assess the situation and dress to match it.
2. Prepare ahead of time.
Before attending an online meeting, prepare yourself mentally. This helps you take part more effectively. This also includes preparing any materials you may need.
3. Arrive early.
Arriving early helps you get settled in and ready to begin when everyone arrives. It also provides you with additional time to review any documents or presentations prior to beginning the session. You’ll also have time for small talk before the meeting, which can help you connect with others.
4. Frame yourself.
Position the camera to be straight in front of you or slightly higher. Don’t have the camera off to the side or below you. Sit close enough so that you’re in the middle of the frame. Fill at least one-third of the screen. If you sit too far away, you’ll appear small on the camera.
5. Prepare your background.
Look at what’s behind you and what others will see when you’re on camera. Don’t show a room full of dirty laundry or stacks of clutter. Sit in front of an uncluttered wall or move things from out of the camera view. And make sure others in your home know that you’ll be on video to avoid any potentially embarrassing situations.
6. Use lighting.
When you’re using a webcam, avoid direct sunlight because this can be too harsh. Don’t sit with a bright light behind you because it will be hard for others to see your face. Also avoid bright or harsh overhead lights. They wash out skin tones. Instead, choose soft lighting that lets others easily see your facial expressions.
7. Stand or sit tall.
When standing or sitting next to a computer monitor, keep your shoulders back and head upright. Keep your arms relaxed at your sides. Your posture should reflect confidence and strength.
8. Look at the camera.
Eye contact conveys interest and engagement. When speaking, look at your camera so that it gives the impression of making eye contact with those you’re speaking to.
9. Pay attention.
Make sure you understand everything that is going on. Remain focused throughout the entire duration of the meeting.
10. Avoid multitasking.
Multitasking takes your focus away from what’s happening in the meeting. Focus instead on only one thing at a time.
11. Turn your phone alerts off.
Your phone presents multiple distractions like incoming calls, texts, emails, and social media notifications. These take your mind away from the conversation. Turn them off!
12. Speak clearly.
Speaking loudly may seem appropriate when communicating face-to-face, but it doesn’t work well over distance. Try using clear language and short sentences.
13. Don’t interrupt.
Interrupting makes it difficult for speakers to finish sharing their thoughts. Plus, it’s rude. Instead, wait until they finish speaking before responding.
14. Ask relevant questions.
Questions show that you care enough to learn from what others share. It shows that you’re engaged and paying attention. Even if you have nothing else to say in a meeting, asking a question gives you the chance to take part and get noticed.
15. Take part fully.
Don’t just listen; take notes if necessary. Ask questions and offer your own input. Be prepared to share information and insights from your perspective.
16. Don’t gossip.
Be respectful of others. Even if you’re having a more casual meeting, spreading gossip makes you look unprofessional and will decrease others’ trust in you.
17. Stay positive.
Being negative does nothing to help anyone’s mood. Instead, focus on solutions rather than problems.
Using these tips can help you appear more confident and elevate your presence in virtual meetings. This can help you get noticed, and others will take you more seriously at work. And they’ll help you build relationships that can help your career.