How others perceive you is important in business. Putting your best foot forward is so important. I have found however that a lot of people make some of these mistakes.
Would You Do Business With Someone Like This?
Have you ever met someone at a business meeting and while you were talking to them you noticed their eyes were shifting around the room to other people? How did that make you feel? Probably not very good. And chances are you would not consider doing business with or referring business to someone like this.
It is important to have eye contact. This is true whether you are online or in person.
If you are on a conference or zoom call it is important to look directly at someone you are listening to. If you are looking at your phone on somewhere else it sends a message that you are really not interested.
How Do You Treat The Speaker?
And if you have ever been a speaker you may have had one or two people in the crowd who were busy on their phone or maybe even got up and left when you began to speak. This doesn't happen often however with in-person events. Most people would consider this rude and inappropriate. It would certainly not look professional.
But for some reason when people get online they often get lax about etiquette. I attended a networking meeting with business professionals this morning. I was appalled at the behavior of some of these members. Here is what I noticed.
People Attended But Did Not Turn Their Camera On.
If you are going to attend a meeting, be fully present. If your camera is turned off it makes me wonder what else you are doing. If you are not dressed and ready for business then don't attend the meeting. As always you should be fully prepared when you attend a meeting online or off.
How Are You Dressed?
When attending an in-person event most people are careful about their appearance. Online should be no different. Here are a few details you should pay attention to also.
I Really Want To See Who I am Talking To
Check to make sure that other attendees can see your whole face. Nobody wants to be looking at your ceiling or the top of your head. And while that recliner may be really comfy it does not project a professional appearance.
Additionally, if you must log in from your phone ( a computer or laptop is best) make sure it is set where it will be stationary. Looking at your face jumping around on the screen does not project a professional appearance. And it is very distracting. Furthermore please do NOT be driving!! Pull over or do not attend. The same is true for walking around. This is very distracting for other attendees and does not project a professional appearance.
Eliminate Anything That May Distract Me From What You Are Saying
Check your background. We really do not want to see piles of laundry or other stuff behind you.
Check your lighting. Drag an extra lamp into the room if needed to put you in the best light possible. Ring lights are inexpensive and can attach to your phone or computer. Invest in one if you want a professional appearance.
People will be more apt to connect with you if they can see your face clearly. Snap a picture of yourself from your phone or camera before going online to check and see how you will look.
Keep Your Camera On When The Speaker is Talking
Unfortunately about half of the people attending ( including the organizer) turned off their camera when the speaker started. This is the same as walking out of the meeting when the speaker begins. Most of these people would not do that in person. Do not do it online either. This will reflect poorly on you and your organization.
It isn't easy speaking in front of people. And it's even harder when you are doing it on line. Show respect for the speaker by staying online and engaging with what he/she is saying. A smile or a nod will give the speaker the encouragement they need.
Put Your Best Face Forward
How others perceive you will reflect on your business. Follow these tips to make sure that you are recognized as the professional you are.
Kathryn Watson has been in business for herself since 1992. She is a speaker, author, and coach.
Kathryn loves to help small service-related businesses ( especially those in the eldercare industry) market using the vast resources of social media.